George Scott first climbed the twenty steps to Buffalo’s Colored Musicians Club second-floor performance space as a young teen. After his older brother came home with jazz albums, he fell hard for jazz – and jazz saxophone.
Decades later, as president of the CMC, Scott oversees daily operations of the non-profit, and runs its interactive first-floor museum. He also leads the George Scott Big Band in the club on Monday nights.
“When I see the letters CMC, they stand for excellence,” Scott said. “The club has never settled for second best, because the club and its musicians had to be taken seriously. Which is the same attitude of the people of Buffalo!”
The club is open to everyone and has live music on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights; the buzzer next to the front door alerts whoever is pouring drinks at the original wooden bar upstairs to let visitors and musicians into the welcoming space.
The CMC traces its origins to a time of segregation in America; black musicians needed to unionize in order to secure work. Local 533 formed in Buffalo in 1917, and their members eventually founded the CMC. Legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and John Coltrane once graced the club’s stage during their stops in Buffalo, once a major point on the U.S. Jazz Circuit.
Read more from Nancy Parisi here: http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/2017/02/100-years-of-tradition-at-buffalos-colored-musicians-club/