top of page

Sunday nights at The Primitif

It's March 1957, and you are walking north on Queen Street. Just past Creek Street there's a new arcade, the Picadilly Arcade, all marble and glass, and in the basement of the arcade there's a coffee lounge. The Primitif Coffee Lounge is dark and smokey, very chic. The coffee is terrific and the toasted sandwiches, legendary. Through the week it's a trendy place to catch up with friends. There a notice board for messages. A chess club. A record player and some great records. And on Sunday nights there's modern jazz. The patrons overflow onto the stairs. Musicians and singers travel for hours to sit in with the band. Young players come to listen and learn, their ears wide open...

Leah, with her collaborator Helen Russell, has been researching the lives of musicians and singers who were photographed performing on Sunday nights at The Primitif in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their presentation for The State Library of Queensland Research Reveal in February 2024, showcased newly composed songs, video montages and research gathered during Leah's Letty Katts music history fellowship.

Photos (L-R): Peter Cox (later Hackworth), Paula Langlands, Rick Farbach, and the Chet Clark Trio with Bill Rachinger and Buzz Ennis - follow the links to Blogs on the stories of The Primitif.

bottom of page