Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the Colored Musicians Club has begun an expansion and renovations that will allow for increased tourism and visitation to Buffalo’s African American Heritage Corridor.
Founded in 1918, the CMC is the only remaining African American musicians’ club of its kind in the U.S. It has hosted performances by such notable artists as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Miles Davis and Cab Calloway.
“This groundbreaking marks the start of a new chapter at the Colored Musicians Club and represents our deep, ongoing commitment to uplifting the East Buffalo community,” Hochul said. “By fostering the expansion and preservation of historic assets along the Michigan Street Corridor, we are celebrating the rich histories of Black New Yorkers and honoring their important contributions in Buffalo, our state, and our nation.”
The not-for-profit club will make critical improvements through the help of a $2 million a grant from Empire State Development’s (ESD) $65 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund. The upgrades will spark increased tourism and visitation to Buffalo’s historic Michigan Street African American Corridor. DASNY also provided $350,000 in funding for the project.
“The renovation will benefit the entire Michigan Street Corridor by drawing more visitors to experience the music, history, food and unique cultural attractions of the East Side,” said George Scott, Colored Musicians Club Former Director. “By making this significant investment we are making it clear that Black history is important, Buffalo’s history is important, and jazz is a force for telling that story and a powerful way to provide strength and hope to our people.”
The CMC project includes the design and construction of a new building entrance at 145 Broadway Street that will be ADA-compliant and include increased storage space for the CMC; restoration of the building’s façade and renovations and expansion of the historic performance space; updated fire safety and code issues; and the completion of related site work and repaving and streetscape improvements.