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I enjoyed Leonard Dixon’s recollections of the old Howard Theatre’s jazz offerings (“Members Only,” 8/3). I remember one show in particular. It opened with the Ramsey Lewis Trio, followed by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet featuring Nat Adderley and Yusef Lateef. Then came young Nancy Wilson singing “Guess Who I Saw Today” and others, which led to the headliner of the show: Oscar Brown Jr., singing “The Work Song” and many of his other greats. And that was a show with only a nominal price of admission.
Here in Washington, these four great acts played to an integrated house. But when I caught the same show a few weeks later at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, I could count the other white faces (“blue-eyed soul brothers,” as we were then called) on my two hands and still snap my fingers on the off-beat.
Still, that “made no nevermind,” because jazz was always a bonding forceuniting rather than dividing.