Tatum Town Porch Fest

Toledo has played a big part in producing some tremendous and well-known artists. From Anita Baker to Gary Louris, these individuals deserve recognition across the greater Toledo area music scene. 

The Tatum Town Porch fest, named after Toledo native and jazz pianist Art (Arthur) Tatum, will take place in downtown Toledo on October 9th when The Tatum Art Zone hosts Tatum’s Town Porch Fest! 

The event, dedicated to building diversity in music,  will be held at the childhood home of Art Tatum, 1123 City Park Avenue.  Guests are welcome to tour the jazz prodigy’s home and enjoy this outdoor music event! The family celebration runs from 12:00-3:00 pm and is free to attend. 

Expect food trucks, live music and comedy along with the tours. Rain date, October 16th, same place and time.

Portrait of Art Tatum, Vogue Room, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948

Little About Arthur Tatum

 Arthur Tatum Jr. – an astounding African- American Jazz pianist, was born on October 13th, 1909, in Toledo, OH.

Despite his unique talent and style, Tatum had to overcome several obstacles to become the artist who was revered the world over and who we know and love today. Born blind in one eye and with limited vision in the other, he began playing the piano by ear by the age of 2 or 3.

By 1927, Tatum’s music was played on a Toledo radio station and he was known as the “Blind Pianist”.  His radio performances, a standard for musical artists at the time, later landed him on Bing Crosby’s radio program. Known for his rapid playing style, Tatum’s talent brought musicians such as Duke Ellington, Joe Turner and Fletcher Henderson to see him. 

As a young man, Tatum played professionally in Cleveland and later moved to New York where he recorded for the first time as a solo artist. His first solo job was at the Onyx club.

Some of Tatum’s well-known pieces are Tea for Two (one of his first pieces), Yesterday, Over the Rainbow, Moon Song, Get Happy, Too Marvelous for Words, Willow Weep for me, I Got Rhythm and others.

Tatum also won multiple awards,  including Esquire magazine jazz popularity poll and, posthumously, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Tatum died on November 5th, 1956, in Los Angeles California at age 47.

Come out and enjoy this event honoring the musical gifts of Art Tatum, Jr which continues as a unifying force for the Toledo community!