1953 - 1963

The Ridge Crest Inn

A group of young women in white dresses sit at a long banquet table.
A group of female students enjoying a night at the Ridge Crest. Photo courtesy of the Democrat & Chronicle
A small newspaper ad advertises "Art Blackley The Jazz Messengers" [sic] as the week's performers.
A misspelled ad from the Democrat & Chronicle, circa late 1950s.
A small newspaper ad lists the Oscar Peterson Trio as the Ridge Crest's performers that night
An ad from the Democrat & Chronicle, circa late 1950s.
A small newspaper ad lists Valerie Carr & Sonny Stitt as the week's performers
An ad, presumably before Stitt made it big, from the Democrat & Chronicle, circa late 1950s.
Hi-Land Inn

Located at 1982 East Ridge Road in Irondequoit, husband and wife owners Wesley and Jane Morey established Rochester as a tour stop for major acts traveling between New York and Chicago. This accomplishment earned Jane Morey the extravagant title “the headmistress of the East side school of the cool sound” and the club an impressive list of past performers which included Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Miles Davis. Gap Mangione, who frequently hosted these musicians at his family home, described the Ridge Crest as “the place to be”– and we have a feeling fellow Rochester-native jazz musician Steve Gadd would agree, since in 1956 and at just 11-years old, he was invited to sit in with Dizzy Gillespie and his band at the Ridge Crest. Despite the historic names that came through, the Ridge Crest Inn faltered after Wesley Morey’s passing in 1958, and by 1967, Rochester’s preeminent jazz club was torn down and replaced with a bank. 

Pythodd Club

In 1957...

Henry W. Clune stopped by the Ridge Crest Inn to chat with proprietors and patrons over the sound of the famous Oscar Peterson Trio.

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