Review: Jazz mainstays hail reopening of historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg
Between 1925 and 1968, the Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg drew some of the biggest names in jazz and soul music to Tampa Bay: B.B. King, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie and Ike and Tina Turner.
This weekend, jazz and gospel musicians from around Tampa Bay helped celebrate the reopening of the casino at 622 22nd St. S. It was a landmark day, hearing live music again at the historic African-American venue.
"Can you imagine a musical family reunion? That's kind of what it was," said LeRoy Flemmings. The 68-year-old saxophonist said he started going to the casino as a teenager and played there back in the day. "It's a good feeling playing for the home crowd."