The Midtown Tour started in Hell’s Kitchen and traced the African American musical experience through the early- to mid-20th century. From the old streets of San Juan Hill (now Lincoln Center) to Central Park, the music of both the recital hall and dance hall was featured on this tour. Special focus was placed on the important historical performances by African American artists at Carnegie Hall, as well as the 2021 debut of the first African American composer at the Metropolitan Opera.
This tour featured music and texts by Eubie Blake, Terrence Blanchard, Will Marion Cook, James Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, J. Rosamond Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, and Vincent Youmans
START: St. Benedict the Moor’s Church at 342 W 53rd St
END: Silent Protest Parade of 1917 at the corner of 5th Ave and E 57th St
Distance Walked: 2.5 Miles
Full Experience with Musical Performances: Approximately 90 minutes
Subway Stations near Start: 50th St (A, C, E); 50th St (1, 2); 7th Av (B, D, E); 59th St-Columbus Circle (1, 2, A, B, C, D), 57th St (N, Q, R, W)
Subway Stations near End: 5th Av (N, R, W), 5th Av-53rd St (E, M), 57th (E, F), 59th St-Columbus Circle (1, 2, A, B, C, D)
Public Restrooms on the Tour Route: Inside Central Park (southwestern corner) “Merchant’s Gate Comfort Station” and inside “The Shops at Columbus Circle” on the 2nd Floor, above Whole Foods
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