“Great Day in Harlem” @ 60 w/ Benny Golson and Jonathan Kane
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the famous Art Kane photograph “Great Day in Harlem”, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem will host Kane’s son, Jonathan Kane, and one of the last living musicians from the photo, NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, for a night of conversation and celebration of the new book Art Kane: Harlem 1958 released in November. The evening will be moderated by drummer, bandleader, and educator Jerome Jennings
Art Kane: Harlem 1958 is a visual history of an iconic image including, for the first time, virtually every single frame from the historic shoot. With original text by Art Kane, forewords by Quincy Jones, the legendary Benny Golson, who appears in the photo, and an introduction by Kane’s son, musician and photographer Jonathan Kane, the 168-page hardback volume is the story behind the shot.
In 1958 fledgling photographer Art Kane pitched the idea to Esquire – 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.
“There was going to be an unusual shooting of a photograph for Esquire Magazine and I was being invited to be a part of it. I couldn’t believe it! Nobody really knew me that early in my career. But zippo, I was there on the intended date. When I arrived, there were all of my heroes.” Benny Golson
57 jazz musicians, from the unknown to the world famous, duly assembled at the unlikely hour of 10am at 7 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The group would include Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie – whose hat was repeatedly stolen by local kids until Kane surrendered and put them in the shot, too.
“Black and white: two colors forbidden to be in close proximity, yet captured so beautifully within a single black and white frame. The importance of this photo transcends time and location, leaving it to become not only a symbolic piece of art, but a piece of 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.” Quincy Jones
Art Kane: Harlem 1958 is published by Guido Harari at Wall of Sound Editions. For further information and updates visit www.wallofsoundgallery.com