Publication date: November 12, 2018

“ART KANE. HARLEM 1958”<br/>Publication date: November 12, 2018

“ART KANE. HARLEM 1958”<br/>Publication date: November 12, 2018

“I cannot envision a more beautiful parallel for jazz and art in general; in the moment, you may not realize the impact that you have through your creations, but as this photo demonstrates, the effect and significance will outlast any lifetime. Not only is this photo important to the people in it, but it should be a reminder of where we need to be: together.” Quincy Jones

ART KANE. HARLEM 1958 marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most celebrated images in American history. Now commonly known as A Great Day in Harlem, the famous shot of 57 jazz musicians gathered outside a brownstone in New York is one of the most imitated images in popular culture, by one of the world’s greatest photographers.

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.

“I came up with the idea of getting as many musicians together in one place as we could. It would be sort of a graduation photo or class picture of all the jazz musicians. After I thought about it some more I decided they should get together in Harlem. After all, that’s where jazz started when it came to New York.” Art Kane

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 17 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. Esquire magazine published the photo in its January 1959 Golden Age of Jazz special issue, along with a series of Art Kane’s portraits of other jazz giants including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Lester Young and his famous shot of Charlie Parker's grave. These portraits are also included in the book, with outtakes and other jazz-related images of gospel groups and a young Aretha Franklin, and on set photography of the film "Pete Kelley's Blues”.

“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

Released in November 2018 by Wall of Sound Editions, ART KANE. HARLEM 1958 honors a pivotal moment in American history through the work of one of its most celebrated photographic voices. The launch of the book will be accompanied by a series of events and exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, London and in Italy. For further information and updates sign up for our Newsletter.


168pp, size 20x29,5cm, hardback.

TRADE EDITION: RRP 45 Euro, available via wallofsoundgallery.com, Amazon and worldwide distribution.

DELUXE EDITION : Only 200 copies in special slipcase and different cover, signed by Quincy Jones, Benny Golson and Jonathan Kane. With an exclusive signed/numbered 8x10 inches fine art print (signed by Jonathan Kane) and a commemorative poster. RRP 350 Euro. Deluxe edition available exclusively via wallofsoundgallery.com.


Deluxe too expensive to purchase in one go? Take advantage of our 3 monthly interest free instalments plan to secure the lowest available edition number. For further info please email us at info@wallofsoundgallery.com.


For nearly 40 years, Art Kane (1925-1995) was one of the most widely published photographers, appearing in a variety of magazines including Life, Vogue, and Esquire. His images ranged from conceptual fashion editorials to portraits of musicians like Bob Dylan, The Who, and Janis Joplin, as well as political imagery that could be interpreted as a form of activism during the civil rights movement and Vietnam War. His photographs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum.

In 2012 Wall Of Sound Gallery restored Art Kane’s original transparencies and produced the “Visionary” exhibition, which introduced Kane’s iconic images to the Italian public for the first time since his passing in 1995. In 2015 an expanded “Visionary” show, now curated by Jonathan Kane, Holly Anderson and Guido Harari, and produced by Solares Fondazione delle Arti, was successfully presented at the Galleria civica, in Modena, Italy.


Please take note that all of Art Kane’s photos are always available as fine art prints, numbered and signed by Jonathan Kane. As for fine art prints from the “Harlem 1958” book, please enquire emailing us at info@wallofsoundgallery.com.

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