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The ZIP Code Memory Project: Practices of Justice and Repair: Samuel Hargress and the Music of Paris Blues: A Community Event

Public Humanities

dateOctober 31, 2021 timeSunday, 2:00pm–6:00pm EDT locationBandshell
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • The Center for the Study of Social Difference
  • WeAct for Environmental Justice
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
Sam Hargress Memorial event title, date, time, and sponsors

This concert honors Samuel Hargress, Jr. who opened his jazz club, "Paris Blues" on November 15, 1969, and proceeded to book live Jazz seven nights weekly. With no cover charge, a full bar, free buffet, and family hospitality, Paris Blues became widely known as a great jazz bar in Harlem. Visitors from all over the world were treated to a wide range of blues, jazz and Latin jazz, and a regular jam night. Sam said that he named the club Paris Blues “to honor the city, soldiers and music I grew to love,” as he served in the military in post-war Europe, where his grandfather had fought as a member of the Harlem Hellfighters.

Born in Demopolis, Alabama, in 1936, Sam Hargress, Jr. contracted the COVID virus and passed away on April 10, 2020, one day past his 84th birthday. A civil rights activist throughout his life, he had received many awards and honors on federal, state, and local levels, and had received personal letters from many community leaders, including Mayor Bill De Blasio, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sam’s jazz club had its last night on March 15, 2020; La Banda Ramirez was the band that night. Paris Blues remains closed at this time.

2:00 – 3:15 pm La Banda Ramirez Latin Jazz
3:25 – 4:00 pm Beautiful Journey
4:15 pm – 4:50 pm Les Goodson and the Holy Ghost Voodoo Power Band
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm John Cooksey’s Spontaneous Combustion

WeAct for Environmental Justice www.weact.orgWE ACT’s mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.

The ZIP Code Memory Project: Practices of Justice and Repair located at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. Contact: [email protected]

The ZIP Code Memory Project seeks to find reparative ways to memorialize the devastating losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic while also acknowledging its radically differential effects on different Upper New York City neighborhoods.