The Black Hawk


Do you have a story about the Black Hawk?

If you remember the Black Hawk nightclub and have a personal story you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. I am putting together a history of the club based on the personal experiences of both patrons and performers for inclusion in the Tenderloin Museum and with an eye toward eventual publication.

Be a part of this historic endeavor and send your story to


Filed under Events

8 responses to “The Black Hawk

  1. Bill Coleman

    I loved the album liner notes from the Miles Davis Live at The Blackhawk. The comment made by the owner: “I’ve worked for years to keep this place looking like a sewer”

  2. Gary Garner

    It was somewhere around Oct-Nov 1962 that I was there. I was in the Army stationed at Schofield Bks in Hawaii. I had been home on leave in Illinois. I had read about it in Down Beat and wanted to be able to say I had been there. George Shearing was playing. I remember a dog, German Shepherd I think it was, back near where I was standing. I assumed it was Shearing’s dog. I eventually got a seat and stayed until closing.

  3. Bob Greenwood

    I was 17 years old when I attended the last night the Blackhawk was open. I sat behind the screen in the minors section and have fond memories of that night. It seems to me that Cal Trader was there, but I can’t recall the others, but it was a great night of jazz. I still have a brochure from the Blackhawk. I treasure it. I ended up becoming a jazz musician, performing, composing, and recording. I also wrote a jazz song, with lyrics, about another San Francisco jazz club call the Jazz workshop.

  4. John Meli

    I saw George Shearing in Jan. or Feb. of 1954 at the Black Hawk.Cal Tjader was in his group. I brlieve Shearing had a quartet then. Can anyone tell me the other members of the group at that time. Thank you.

  5. darrel

    i saw shorty rodgers play there sometime in 62 maybe 63. i loved the place. one thing that made this club special is that it was sectioned off for a place that minors could be there. one step up on an elevated area with a fence of sorts. i went on sunday afternoons for their jam sessions. a musician could join in on invitation often building a great group as the hours went by.

    • Thanks for sharing your story about the Black Hawk, Darrel. I gather you were a minor when you saw Shorty Rodgers there?

      • Dan Celli

        First time was an afternoon (Sun) ;Miles,Cannonball,Trane,Chambers,Cobb. Cannonball was the host, and mentioned that he found a string of pearl’s and after the set if the woman would like to claim them,he would be in the Men’s bathroom. When Coltrane started his solo, it was in the kitchen hallway which would give enough time for Cannonball to step off the small bandstand. In the standing room area, the patron’s yelling;”Yeah ! Yeah !” when Cannonball was playing a fast solo. It was a great day for us. The second time was when we saw Monk&Charlie Rouse with the rest of the rhythm section. At one point, Monk stood up and did a little dance when Rouse was blowing his tenor. 1959/60 ?

      • Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Dan!

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