LeRoy was very active throughout his life and career. He touched many lives and left his mark on many an institution. Whether it was his work as founding President and later business manager of The Copasetics, Inc. or his efforts in founding and sustaining the weekly tap jam at Showmans in New York City, LeRoy continued to support the art of tap dance and tap dancers.
It’s little wonder that the organizations LeRoy helped establish and supported saw fit to pay him lasting tribute with the LeRoy Myers Corner street sign and the Tribute Plaque at Showmans.
LeRoy Myers Corner
On the corner of Manhattan Avenue and 122rd Street in Harlem, NY, stands a reminder of the kind of man LeRoy Myers was. A man who did enough that others would work to have a city corner renamed in his honor so that someone might ask “Who was LeRoy Myers, and why is this corner named after him?”
The campaign was spearheaded by Jun Maruta and supported by numerous parties including the staff of Showmans, members of the Copasetics Connection, the Tap Legacy Foundation, and the former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton.
The sign was unveiled on Sunday, March 11, with a special event produced by the Copasetics Connection that included a vocal performance by Yvette Glover, musical performances by trumpeter Joe Wilder, saxophonist Max Schweiger, and the Batuba Collective, an African Drum group led by Cordelia Myers (LeRoy’s niece), and additional tributes by Councilwoman Inez Dickens, the former Councilman Bill Perkins, and Mr. Sutton, himself. Tap dance performances were provided by David Gilmore, Michela Marino Lerman, and Jun Maruta.
For years, LeRoy Myers called the far end of the bar at Showmans Jazz Club in New York City his spot. Regardless of the occasion – a birthday party, retirement party, or the regular tap jam he produced – LeRoy held court standing (never sitting) at the end of the hand carved oak banister.
It was an unspoken reservation. If he ever missed a Thursday night (the night of the weekly tap jam), there would be a void. Out of respect, no one would take his spot. That was the kind of man LeRoy was; the kind that didn’t have to ask for respect, it was just given to him.
As such, when LeRoy passed away in 2004 the Tap Legacy Foundation with the support of the Myers family and Showmans Jazz Club saw fit to dedicate a plaque in LeRoy’s honor as close to the place that he stood as possible.
On the 25th of May 2006, National Tap Dance Day, a dedication ceremony was held at Showmans Jazz Club in Harlem, NY. The plaque pictured above was presented to Cordelia Myers (LeRoy’s niece) and subsequently hung on the wall closest to his favorite spot at bar. It can be seen there to this day.
Al Howard, the proprietor of Showmans, and Mona Lopez, the manager of the club, both dear friends of LeRoy’s, were in attendance and provided immense support for the effort.