Art Kane: Harlem 1958

This new book tells the story of an iconic photograph that captured a moment in music history that has never been forgotten

Arts 5 Nov 2018

Iconic group shot of the time's greatest jazz musicians, taken by Art Kane in 1958
Luckey Roberts and Willie 'The Lion' Smith, taken by Art Kane in 1958
Front row, from left: Bill Crump, Stuff Smith, Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins. At their back you can spot George Wettling, Bud Freeman, Pee Wee Russell, Buster Bailey, Oscar Pettiford. Behind them, Sonny Greer, Jimmy Jones, Charles Mingus, Osie Johnson
Louis Armstrong, Mojave Desert, 1958
The new book is published in November by Wall of Sound Editions

The 168-page hardback volume Art Kane: Harlem 1958 marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most celebrated images in pop culture.

The photograph, A Great Day in Harlem taken by renowned photographer Art Kane, depicts 57 jazz musicians gathered outside a typical brownstone building in New York. The now iconic image was Kane’s first assignment as a professional photographer for Esquire magazine and has since become a key object in the study of jazz history. Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 Golden Age of Jazz special issue, along with a series of Art Kane portraits of other jazz greats including Aretha Franklin.

The book provides a visual history of the image including previously unreleased pictures from the shoot that took place that day. It also includes original text by Art Kane, forewords by Quincy Jones, saxophonist Benny Golson (who appears in the photo) and an introduction by Kane’s son, musician and photographer Jonathan Kane.

The launch of the book will be accompanied by a series of events and exhibitions early next year in New York, Los Angeles, London and Italy.

Art Kane: Harlem 1958 will be released in November 2018 by Wall of Sound Editions