After the earlier years, what did emerge from this historic venue was a legendary jazz history. The likes of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker to even Mae West have made an appearance at the Cotton Club. The Club was renowned world wide and still is one of the most recognizable names associated with Harlem.
The hey day was enjoyed well into the 20’s and 30’s until race riots of 1936. The club shut its doors but soon opened on Broadway in midtown. By then the times did indeed change and the club could not keep its momentum. The Cotton Club of the Harlem Renaissance closed for good in 1940.
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Today, there is a new incarnation of the Cotton Club which sits on the most western end of 125th street under the massive Manhattanville viaduct. The windowless block of a building has a less dramatic display out front but seems to be popular with tourists for Sunday jazz brunches.