Cavalcade of Jazz

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The Cavalcade of Jazz was the first large outdoor jazz entertainment event of its kind produced by an African American, Leon Hefflin, Sr. The event was held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, Lane Field in San Diego and the last one at the Shrine Auditorium was part of the Central Ave Jazz Scene and showcased over 125 artists from 1945 to 1958.[1] The Cavalcade of Jazz concerts were the stepping stone to success for such stars as Toni Harper, Dinah Washington, Roy Milton, Frankie Lane and others.[2] His first COJ show starred Count Basie, The Honey Drippers, Valaida Snow, Joe Turner, The Peters Sisters, Slim and Bam and more artists on September 23, 1945.[3] Leon's last concert was held at the Shrine Auditorium on August 3, 1958 with Sam Cooke, Bo Rhambo and Band, Ray Charles, The Cookies, Ernie Freeman and his Band, Little Willie John, The Clark Kids and Sammy Davis Jr.[4] He also hosted a beauty contest at the events. 


  1. ^ Reed, Tom (1992). The Black music history of Los Angeles, its roots : 50 years in Black music : a classical pictorial history of Los Angeles Black music of the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's : photographic essays that define the people, the artistry and their contributions to the wonderful world of entertainment (1st, limited ed.). Los Angeles: Black Accent on L.A. Press. ISBN 096329086X. OCLC 28801394.
  2. ^ Cox, Bette Yarbrough. (1996). Central Avenue--its rise and fall, 1890-c. 1955 : including the musical renaissance of Black Los Angeles. Los Angeles: BEEM Publications. ISBN 0965078302. OCLC 35673638.
  3. ^ “Big Name Bands, Singers in ‘Cavalcade of Music’ Sept. 23” ” The California Eagle Sept. 13, 1945.
  4. ^ Guralnick, Peter. (2005). Dream boogie : the triumph of Sam Cooke (1st ed.). New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 0316377945. OCLC 57393650.