Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph (Hardcover)

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By Roxane Orgill, Francis Vallejo (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews


Readers, of all ages, will be taken back to Harlem 1958 through poems and portraits of more than fifty jazz musicians who convened for a unique, historic photograph, by graphic designer Art Kane for Esquire magazine, that preserves this group’s undying influence and talents generations later.  It’s magical when you eventually open a foldout page to see the photograph, including such jazz legends as Thelonius Monk, Count Basie and Mary Lou Williams and children surrounding them on a front stoop of a brownstone. Vallejo’s acrylic and pastel images transport the reader into the beehive of activity on that hot summer’s day of August, 12, 1958.  (Ages 8-12) ~Mark

— From 2016 Picture Books/Early Readers


What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz.

When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians' mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph.

About the Author

Roxane Orgill is an award-winning writer on music and the author of Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald and Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Francis Vallejo is an assistant professor of illustration at the College for Creative Studies. This is his first book. He lives in Detroit.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780763669546
ISBN-10: 0763669547
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Pages: 66
Language: English