Sunday, December 9, 2012

The "other" Palladium, 53rd Street and Broadway, New York, NY

There was a second Palladium also. The Palladium Ballroom was a second-floor dancehall on 53rd Street and Broadway in New York City which became famous for its excellent Latin music from 1948 until its closing in 1966.

In 1950, the Palladium gained in stature because of the Big Three:
  • Tito Puente
  • Tito Rodríguez
  • Machito.
 The year 1950, started the mambo craze that eventually spread across the United States began at the Palladium. At the height of its popularity, the Palladium attracted Hollywood and Broadway stars, especially on Wednesday nights, which included a free dance lesson. Dance instructors such as "Killer Joe" Piro - who briefly served as master of ceremonies the Palladium - and Carmen Marie Padilla (later the poet Carmen M. Pursifull), would offer mass dance lessons for the huge crowds. Club-goers of the era report seeing Marlon Brando, George Hamilton and others there.
The popularity of Perez Prado's Mambo No. 5 (1952) was taking everyone by storm.

The Palladium became the place to be seen at. Different jazz musicians and celebrities would sit in and play with the Latin bands:
The Palladium was in close proximity to the jazz clubs on West 52nd Street: Birdland, The Onyx and CuBop City. Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who lived in the NYC area during the heyday of the Palladium Ballroom, composed a piece during the 1970s called "Palladium" while a member of the seminal jazz-fusion group Weather Report. The song appears on their Heavy Weather (album) and features a driving Latin Rhythm among other delights.

I thought it interesting that there were two Palladiums but Jerry never performed here.

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