Thelonious Monk Concert Posters Harlem 1940s Bebop Jazz Legend

Today we look at two vintage, original Thelonious Monk window cards from the late 1940s in the Harlem section of New York City.

The first of these Thelonious Monk placards hails from 1948 and lists five other band members which formed Monk’s All-Stars. The other Thelonious Monk boxing-style poster is from 1949 and does away with the All-Stars in favor of “His New Sextet.”

Both of these vintage bebop jazz concert placards are quite worn out and fragile, as often is the case with paper materials so old.

That’s a common denominator about collecting old concert signs, used to sell tickets from over 50 years ago: it’s not often you find them in pristine condition.

You have to get a kick out of the ticket prices on these old jazz show placards: $1.35 and $1.50. You can’t get a bottle of water at today’s shows for that price!

Both of these 14×22-inch cardboard jazz tour placards were designed and manufactured by Prince & Maxwell Displays of New York City. I had never heard of that company before, so it’s probable that they specialized only in printing vintage jazz concert ticket posters, and not necessarily a broader range of music such as R&B.

A small handful of vintage jazz billboards from Harlem recently turned up with Macbeth the Great listed as the opening act.  It’s funny the way he’s referred to in two differing ways on these two vintage jazz window displays, since they’re only one year apart.

Taking a look now at the complete script found on both of these vintage jazz displays, starting with the 1948 one:

The San Juan Hill Assoc. Presents Thelonious Monk – “The High Priest of Bebop” – [and his] All-Stars: Art Blakey, Curley Russell, Idrees Sulieman, Ike Quebec and Danny Quebec.

[Plus] MacBeth “The Great” and his Calypsonians. April 30th, 1948, Friday Night – Golden Gate Ballroom – 142nd St. & Lenox Ave. in New York City. Tickets $1.35, or at the door, $1.50. Reservations: [I will spare you that.)

And then on the green poster, from a year later:

The San Juan Hill Assoc. Presents Thelonious Monk and His New Sextet

And Macbeth “the Great” and his Calypso Serenaders – Saturday Night, October 1st [1949], at the Rockland Palace Ballroom, 155th & 8th Ave.  Tickets $1.50 in Advance [no Door price given]. Reservations: [and once again, I won’t waste your time listing all that.]

Any vintage Thelonious Monk show poster from the pre-rock & roll era is a cool jazz collectable to acquire, because most old jazz broadsides were torn down and tossed out right after the shows.

Both of these scarce, collectible bebop jazz concert placards are enthusiastically discussed by memorabilia collector Pete Howard; hook up with me at either 805-540-0020 or And please keep in mind that I pay the very best prices for vintage concert window placards by any of musical heroes, in any genre.

To see some other rare jazz boxing–style concert posters (including the big band era), go ahead and bop over to this page right here on my Web site:

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