ALL POSTS TAGGED "a-great-day-in-harlem"

Showing 4 results

The Harlem Arts Festival is set to kick off this Friday, June 27th. For a third consecutive year, the HAF will seek to increase visibility for keep reading »

In honor of the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, we are streaming the 1994 documentary A Great Day in Harlem that documents the incredible circumstances that went into the timeless 1958 black and white portrait which included jazz legends like Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins, among numerous others. In total an astonishing 57 musicians showed up just to be in the picture taken by Art Kane at 17 East 126th Street.

The saxophone is one of the most dynamic of the instruments used in jazz. It has a vocal tonality that can range from raspy to airy and go from high and soaring to low and deep. On the morning of the photo shoot, thirteen of the most influential jazz saxophonists were photographed. Some of them, from first glance, may not be as recognizable as others but guaranteed their music speaks volumes.

It all came about on summer day in 1958. A young photographer, by the name of Art Kane, was hired by Esquire magazine to come up with a photograph to accompany an article commemorating jazz. As the story goes, Kane called on every major player in the New York City jazz scene to show up for a photograph to take place in front a Harlem brownstone. The only issue was that the photograph was to be taken at 10am and getting a large group of jazz musicians together that early in the morning seemed nearly impossible. Fears about a modest turnout subsided as the musicians began showing up. Fifty-seven musicians were photographed that morning and the rest, as they say, is history.