Akron plans to pay tribute to the city’s African-American music history and honor one of the community’s nationally known artists and sculptors.

City leaders will dedicate and light the Matthews Hotel Monument at a special ceremony at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The monument, begun in 2011 as a landmark of the former African-American business and entertainment district on North Howard Street, is at the intersection of North Howard Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, close to the hotel’s original location.

The hotel, which was torn down in 1982, was home from the 1930s to the ’50s to jazz greats who performed in Akron while stopping between gigs in New York and Chicago.

Jazz pioneers Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and others stayed at the hotel. Segregation prohibited the musicians from staying at downtown hotels that accommodated whites only.

“With the resurgence of jazz at the north end of downtown, this is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to those who performed on Howard Street, and thank those who have memorialized it,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a prepared statement.

The monument was the life’s work of Akron artist Miller Horns. Work began in September 2011 with local contractors donating time and materials to build it. Horns died in October 2012.

“Not only does this monument honor an important part of African-American history,” says Glen Stephens, whose company G. Stephens Inc. served as project manager, “but it is a tribute to a dozen Akron firms who gave generously to see that it was built. The contributions for the planning, design and construction of the monument total more than $180,000.”

The sculpture is a column of red brick, 15 feet by 7 feet, mounted on a concrete pad, a concrete capital identifying the hotel name, with period lights and a barber pole evidencing the era.