Celebration of Jazz in St. Charles

The 1920's saw many different cultural changes in almost all aspects of society. Alcohol production, sale, and consumption prohibited, women wore their hair and hemlines shorter, and the sound of jazz music drifted out of the clubs onto the streets.  Jazz music was predominantly an African-American genre until it had exploded in the Roarin’ Twenties in the big cities in the north. New York and Chicago especially fell in love with jazz, and started booking both African-American and white musicians and eventually both would often come together to create jazz bands.

When the Great Depression hit, the 1930's saw a shift in jazz music. It was no longer music of one sound but many, and sub-genres appeared. The “East Side Style” continued to be unchanged and still danceable for those that wanted to let loose on the dance floor. St. Charles was not immune to the Jazz Age and the continuous love for Jazz music. When Club Arcada opened in 1934, hot entertainment was provided while guests enjoyed their drinks and food. Most often swing bands were booked which allowed Club Arcada attendees to dance the night away if they felt like it, or simply enjoy listening to the band. Those featured in newspaper clippings include: Jackie Heller, Harry Diekman’s Swingsters, The Swingsters Quartette, Knights of Rhythm, The Four McNallie Sisters, and many more.

Make sure to check out everything that St. Charles Jazz Weekend has to offer at https://www.downtownstcharles.org/dscp_events/stc-jazz-weekend/