Terryl Calloway, legendary New England entertainment, promotion, and marketing entrepreneur secures the landmark purchase of Slade’s Bar and Grill this month. Riding the wings of his hugely successful 30+ Saturdays event night at the club, Calloway returns to his roots to revitalize the state’s oldest Black-owned nightclub.
Slade’s, the historic community hub located on 958 Tremont Street, has served Roxbury’s Black community for over eight decades. Slade’s is known for delicious down-home cooking, live jazz and dancing, and providing an appreciation of history and culture to its community; a legacy Calloway aims to continue.
Terryl Calloway is the owner of event promotion firm Calloway Entertainment (CE) and Calloway Graphix, Printing and Marketing Inc., the first African-American online full-service digital graphics printing and marketing company in Massachusetts.
Calloway is responsible for promoting and producing over 2,000 concerts, plays, fundraisers, and special events all over the World. Among C.E.’s most notable clients: Prince, Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, R-Kelly, UniverSoul Circus, Morris Day and The Time, National Marketing Manager for the 1998 Boyz II Men, Destiny’s Child, and Next U.S. Tour,
At the age of only 26, Calloway launched one of the most successful African American nightclubs in Boston, The Gallery. For his efforts and hard work, Calloway has received over 35 awards and citations from the state of Massachusetts, City of Boston, and local non-profits, in recognition of his outstanding work in the entertainment business.
Calloway’s legacy is one of determination, resilience, and faith. As a Pre-med student at Brandeis University and a bouncer at Kix Club in Boston, Calloway found himself fascinated by the entertainment industry. This interest inspired him to make a major career change and he transferred to Northeastern University (NEU).
Terryl Calloway graduated from NEU with a B.S in Business Administration and immediately searched for his niche, founding Calloway Entertainment in 1984.
Calloway made a name for himself in the 80s and 90s as one of the first Black promoters to bring a Black entertainment market to the White-owned clubs in Downtown Boston. He hosted vastly successful events The Conservatory in Copley at 9 Lansdowne and Thursday nights at the Roxy for several years.
Calloway attributes this success to his ability to “understand where opportunity is and fill that void or niche.” Terryl’s involvement in Boston’s entertainment and arts scene was not without hardship. In the early 2000s, he had to overcome tragic and trying events –the untimely death of promising Brockton-based R&B artist, Chris Bender, whom Calloway managed and mentored, and Calloway also underwent 3 brain surgeries and suffered a stroke
When asked about his recovery and vision for the future, Calloway replied, “Once you’ve done something for a long time, it becomes a habit [and] you gain the experience and knowledge to overcome adversity.” With that knowledge, one also needs a support system. Calloway, as a man of faith and family thanks his mother, Caroline Calloway, Alkia Powell one of his closest friend and Bishop Thompson and his son Matthew of Jubilee Christian Church for their contributions to his recovery and spiritual guidance.
2012 marked the year of his long awaited return to Roxbury’s club scene with his “30+ Saturdays” at Slade’s. The weekly event is one of Slade’s highest grossing nights to date.
These events secured a foothold for Calloway when talks of selling Slade’s began in 2014. Former owners, Ivan Payamps and Ramon Genao, made it known they preferred to sell to Roxbury community members; they recognized the importance of Slade’s to Roxbury’s African American community.
In 2015, Calloway put together an investment group with Darryl Settles, owner of Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen, and Leo Papile, Founder of the Boston Amateur Basketball club and former Senior Director of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics to purchase the club.
The following year, Calloway and Settles became founding board members for the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA). The mission of the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, Inc. is to advance the economic well-being of Black businesses and organizations that serve the Black community and Black residents of Massachusetts.
Terryl’s goal was to gather the resources of invested community members in Roxbury and the South End and forward an agenda of giving back to the community.
“Give Back at 30+ Saturdays” is one of Calloway’s projects aimed at supporting the community that supported him throughout his career. The monthly events at Slade’s donate 50% of door proceeds to deserving non-profits and social cause organizations. The pilot event partnered with Boston’s NAACP.
For the anxious and excited over Slade’s changing hands, Terryl wants you to know, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The great food will stay the same, and the community can look forward to cosmetic renovations and new and exciting entertainment programming.”
Contributor Writer: Evan Cutts
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