PDN Photo of the Day

We Gather in the Name of Jazz

“Not only is this photo important to the people in it, but it should be a reminder of where we need to be: together,” writes  Quincy Jones in the foreword to Art Kane: Harlem 1958.

Released this month the book marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most celebrated images in American history: 57 jazz musicians gathered outside a brownstone in New York. Made by Art Kane, the image–now commonly known as “A Great Day in Harlem”–honors a pivotal moment in American history.

“During a time in which segregation was very much still a part of our everyday lives, and in a world that often
pointed out our differences instead of celebrating our similarities, there was something so special and pure about gathering 57 individuals together, in the name of jazz,” writes Jones

In 1958 Kane, then a fledgling photographer, pitched an idea to Esquire to invite the musicians of New York’s jazz community to come together for one photo. Esquire agreed and Kane sent requests via agents, record labels, managers, clubs, anywhere he could spread the word. Fifty-seven jazz musicians, from the unknown to the world famous, assembled at the unlikely hour of 10am at 7 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The group included jazz legends
Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, and Count Basie (whose hat was repeatedly stolen by local kids until Kane surrendered and put them in the shot, too).

Art Kane: Harlem 1958 assembles, for the first time, virtually every single frame from the historic shoot; the book is the story behind the shot.

Released in November 2018 by Wall of Sound Editions, the launch of the book will be accompanied by a series of events and exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, London and in Italy.

Art Kane: Harlem 1958: 60th Anniversary Edition
By Art Kane
Published by Wall of Sound Editions

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