“And one soon learned that the wild, transcendent moments which occurred at dances or “battles of music,” moments in which memorable improvisations were ignited, depended upon a dedication to a discipline which was observed even when rehearsals had to take place in the crowded quarters of Halley Richardson’s shoeshine parlor.  It was not the place which counted, although a large hall with good acoustics was preferred, but what one did to perfect one’s performance.”

Ralph Ellison, “Hidden Name and Complex Fate” (1964)


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