Inside Baltimore: Left Bank Jazz Society

The Left Bank Jazz Society was a Baltimore, Maryland-based organization that promoted jazz in Baltimore. It formed in 1964, hosting a series of concerts featuring nationally acclaimed performers like John Coltrane and Duke Ellington. Tapes from these recordings were tied up in legal disputes and not officially released until 2000.

Left Bank was founded by Vernon L. Welsh (10 February 1919 – 8 August 2002 Baltimore, Maryland) and Benny Kearse (16 March 1930 Allendale, South Carolina – 29 June 1999 Baltimore, Maryland). Welsh recorded more than 800 jazz performances at the Famous Ballroom during the 1960s and 1970s. The tapes recorded by Welsh had been stored at the Morgan State University library for years. Veteran record producer Joel Dorn of the Label M record company, who acquired the tapes, has begun reissuing them and they have found favor with critics and jazz aficionados.

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