The Cotton Club The Cotton Club

The Cotton Club


Edward Barnes, Moderator

This Seminar will explore Harlem’s infamous Cotton Club, a speak-easy run by gangster Owney Madden that featured the top African American talent of its day in landmark revues such as “Shuffle Along,” “Blackbirds of 1928,” and “The Cotton Club Parade.” We will explore the lives and artistic contributions of band leaders Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, along with lead singers Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, and Dorothy Dandridge, plus “Celebrity Night” stars George Gershwin, Mae West, Richard Rodgers, and Irving Berlin. A journey through the show-biz side of jazz, blues, jungle music, and bootleg whiskey. Video will be used.

Session 1 Club Origins and Duke Ellington
Session 2 Billie Holiday
Session 3 The Revue Writers: Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh
Session 4 Cab Calloway
Session 5 Celebrity Night: Gershwin, Rodgers, Berlin and guest Mae West
Session 6 Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge

* Please note:

There are TWO (2) Sections of this Seminar. Specify your first choice of TIME.

THURSDAYS, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  OR  THURSDAYS, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
SEPT 13, 27
OCT 11, 25
NOV 8, 29

Cost $475 (6 sessions)
* tax deductible portion is $237.50

Edward Barnes

EDWARD BARNES – Composer/Lyricist. He has worked with theaters around the country including Lincoln Center Theater Company, Mark Taper Forum, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Houston Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, American Repertory Theater, Minnesota Opera, Williamstown Theater Festival and others.

Barnes is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Stephen Sondheim Award for “Outstanding Talent in Creating Innovative Musical Theater.” He is a producer of theater and concerts in New York and Buenos Aires.

Photo Credit: Everett Collection