The next song was slow, and the trumpet was more important than the piano. I closed my eyes. The trumpet purred and hummed, and sometimes it sang so sweetly it could have been a lullaby. I leaned my head back against the wall behind my chair. I wondered if Irma Lee knew how to do the Charleston. I didn't know anything about dancing. But if I tried it, I knew she wouldn't laugh at me.I'd be her friend, just like I promised I would. I'd be her friend even if I had to climb down the walls of the asylum to go to see her.
When orphaned Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys where he is treated cruelly, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance.