A Great Day in Jazz and (Hip-Hop)

For those of you who have read Book One of the JassOdyssey series, I’m sure that you are familiar with Art Kane’s famous photo entitled “A Great Day In Harlem.” It’s a black and white photograph that features 57 jazz musicians in Harlem, New York. The photo was taken on August 12, 1958. It’s exact location isn’t known, but thought to be 17 East 126th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue. I can’t list all 57 jazz musicians featured in the photo, but some notables include Count Basie, Art Blakey, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Mary Lou Williams, Gene Krupa and Dizzy Gillespie. In the future when we get a chance, we’ll dive into each person who was featured in the famous photo. Did you know that sometime later there was also another photo taken of famous jazz musicians in the same location? This time the picture featured mostly female musicians. And not to be outdone, Hip-hop artist also had their iconic pictures taken in mass as a tribute to Kane’s photograph. We’ll talk about the latter two photos in a separate blog.

In the JassOdyssey book series, Miles and his Uncle Roland went to visit Park at his place of employment. In the workshop area on the wall was the famous photograph. Later when they saw the photo and got a chance to examine it closer, guess who they saw in the picture? The mysterious person was not standing with the musicians, but was seen off camera amongst the children sitting a long the sidewalk.

As I always say…”Take the Test, Take the Journey!!!”

J. A. Rollins


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