- Claude Conyers
New York dance hall. This second-floor dance hall on the corner of Broadway and West 53rd Street in New York City became famous as a center of Latin music and dancing from 1948 until 1966. Owned by Maxwell Hyman, the Palladium had been successful during the big band era, but by 1947 its popularity with its largely white clientele had waned. Its manager approached Caribbean music promoter Federico Pagani about booking a Latin band, hoping to attract New York’s burgeoning Hispanic community. Their first Latin dance concert, to music by Machito and His Afro-Cubans, was held on a Sunday afternoon. It was a huge success. Soon, Latin music was played on Wednesday evenings as well as Sunday afternoons, with Tito Puente’s Piccadilly Boys alternating with Machito’s band. Within a year, the Palladium was devoted exclusively to Latin music, and dancers clamored for space on its large dance floor.