Founded in 1904, the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the country. It was founded at a time when the musicians union didn’t admit minority musicians, and the law stated that one had to be in the union in order to perform in New York City!
During the Harlem Renaissance, from the 1920s through the 1950s, it was a place for many of the musicians to gather after performances, to socialize and practice. Until the 1990s, NAMA allowed musicians to board in the upper floors when they were in town, and at one time, Jell Roll Morton lived in one of the upstairs rooms.
Some notable NAMA members were Buster Bailey; Eubie Blake; Charlie Parker; Will Marion Cook; Rafael Escudero; James Reese Europe; Craig S. Harris; John E. Johnson; Brooks Kerr; Larry Lucey; Willie J. Mack; Henry Minton; Gladys Seals; Zutty Singleton; Fred Staton; Dickie Wells and Fess Williams. We found a short read on their history on harlem is…
NAMA moved to its current location on 107 West 130th Street in 1922. Today, this non-profit Harlem treasure is still a hub for musicians.
The flyer above was posted the first week of 2022, posting live jazz and blues every Wednesday night from 8pm to midnight. Check the NAMA Facebook Page for a full schedule of events and more NAMA news.