Jonathan Kane and Benny Golson reveal the story behind the most iconic photograph in the history of Jazz.

Sixty years later Art Kane’s son Jonathan, himself a photographer and musician, wrote the story of this celebrated and widely imitated photograph in a recently published book titled Art Kane Harlem 1958. The Library of Congress Music Division invited Jonathan Kane and saxophonist-composer Benny Golson to spend an evening talking about this remarkable photograph.

Press Release    ART KANE Harlem 1958 Press Release Final September 2019

New York Times Article

Carol Green

A Great Day in Harlem or Harlem 1958 is a black-and-white photograph of 57 jazz musicians in Harlem, New York City. The picture was taken by freelance photographer Art Kane for Esquire magazine on August 12, 1958.[1] The musicians gathered at 17 East 126th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue. Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue.

One of the most iconic photographs in jazz was shot on August 4, 1958 outside a brownstone at 17 East 126th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenue in Harlem. The photo was shot by Art Kane and appeared in Esquire Magazine in January of 1959. Somehow Kane managed to gather 57 important jazz musicians to pose that day, including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Mary Lou Williams and Count Basie. The photo later became a key plot point in Steven Spielberg’s film The Terminal in which Tom Hanks (as Viktor Navorski) comes to the U.S. in search of Benny Golson’s autograph.

Musicians in the photograph included:

Red Allen
Buster Bailey
Count Basie
Emmett Berry
Art Blakey
Lawrence Brown
Scoville Browne
Buck Clayton
Bill Crump[2]
Vic Dickenson
Roy Eldridge
Art Farmer
Bud Freeman
Dizzy Gillespie
Tyree Glenn
Benny Golson
Sonny Greer
Johnny Griffin
Gigi Gryce
Coleman Hawkins
J.C. Heard
Jay C. Higginbotham
Milt Hinton
Chubby Jackson
Hilton Jefferson
Osie Johnson
Hank Jones
Jo Jones
Jimmy Jones

Taft Jordan
Max Kaminsky
Gene Krupa
Eddie Locke
Marian McPartland
Charles Mingus
Miff Mole
Thelonious Monk
Gerry Mulligan
Oscar Pettiford
Rudy Powell
Luckey Roberts
Sonny Rollins
Jimmy Rushing
Pee Wee Russell
Sahib Shihab
Horace Silver
Zutty Singleton
Stuff Smith
Rex Stewart
Maxine Sullivan
Joe Thomas
Wilbur Ware
Dickie Wells
George Wettling
Ernie Wilkins
Mary Lou Williams
Lester Young