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Upper East Harlem Block To Be Co-Named After Iconic Art Kane Photograph 'Harlem 1958'

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The street co-naming ceremony will take place on August 12, 2021 in association with Uptown Grand Central and Jazzmobile

Upper East Harlem Block To Be Co-Named After Iconic Art Kane Photograph 'Harlem 1958'

Uptown Grand Central and Jazzmobile have announced the August 12, 2021 celebration surrounding the commemorative street co-naming of East 126th street between 5th and Madison Avenues as 'Art Kane Harlem 1958 Place.' August 12th marks the 63rd anniversary of the gathering of 57 jazz luminaries in East Harlem for the shooting of the famed Art Kane photograph "Harlem 1958." Known alternatively as "A Great Day In Harlem," the iconic photograph has become one of the most celebrated images in American history, capturing the vitality of jazz in the late 1950s. Dedicated to the preservation and furtherance of the jazz artform and the greater East Harlem community, the celebration of this historic street co-naming event will take place from 2:00pm to 4:00pm EDT on Thursday, August 12th. Register for this free event here.

"Uptown is proud to honor the deep-rooted history of jazz here in Harlem, along with the visionary man who conceived and took this iconic photo more than 60 years ago," shared Diane Collier, Chair of Uptown Grand Central. "Along with the Harlem/East Harlem residents, we are pleased to memorialize this wonderful event with a street sign on the block where it all happened."

Supported by Manhattan Community Board 11 and local New York City Councilpersons, Uptown Grand Central's memorializing of the historic event is part of the organization's longer-term goal to create a network of stops that can become a cultural walking tour of northeast Harlem, with other locations including the National Black Theatre & Frederica Teer Square, Langston Hughes House and James Baldwin Place.

Remarks will be delivered by Jonathan Kane, son of Art Kane and author of the book Art Kane: Harlem 1958; Dean Schomburg, Member of the Board of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and Wayne Winborne, Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University/Newark. Prepared remarks by saxophonists Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins, the last remaining living subjects of the photograph will also be shared.

Presented by Jazzmobile, the afternoon will also feature a performance by jazz great Patience Higgins and the Sugar Hill Quartet. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Higgins is a renowned multi-reedist and for two decades has been a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He has toured and recorded with a who's who of music icons including Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles; Higgins also played with two other legendary bands the Count Basie and the Lionel Hampoton Orchestras, among others. A Harlem favorite, he and his swinging band are known for their energetic, exciting and enthusiastic performances.

This historic street co-naming event will take place on August 12, 2021 at 2:00 PM EDT at East 126th Street between Madison and Fifth. The entrance for guests is on East 126th Street and Madison Avenue. Click here to register.

ABOUT ART KANE & "HARLEM 1958"

In August 1958, a budding photographer by the name of Arthur Kanofsky (Art Kane) conceptualized the notion of assembling the musicians of New York's jazz community for a photo in front of an East Harlem brownstone. "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," shared Kane in an interview. As a result of Kane's efforts, 57 jazz musicians, including Mary Lou Williams, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie duly assembled at the unlikely hour of 10:00 am at 7 East 126th street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The photograph was published in Esquire Magazine in the January 1959 issue. In 2018, Wall of Sound published Art Kane: Harlem 1958 - a visual history of the iconic shoot, edited by Jonathan Kane and Guido Harari.


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