This season’s Jazz Up Close series was inspired by the iconic 1958 photo, A Great Day in Harlem. Originally featured in Esquire magazine, photographer Art Kane’s black and white image of 57 notable jazz musicians, taken on Harlem’s 126th Street, is a haunting who’s who of jazz emissaries. As we brainstormed with the series’ Artistic Ambassador, Danilo Pérez, about where to take Jazz Up Close for the Kimmel Center’s 10th Anniversary Season, the photo emerged and the importance of local history was clear in our minds. Philadelphia is a city rich with jazz musicians both young and old, former clubs that made their mark in the American jazz touring circuit and endless tales of the extraordinary camaraderie that existed between the musicians and their fans. In an era when jazz clubs and arts program funding continue to disappear and technology reigns, it is vital that we reflect both on our city’s artistic legacy and its future. In celebrating Philadelphia’s jazz history, we hope to keep jazz and the arts moving forward, and to allow our city to continue contributing to America’s artistic landscape. This season we will take you on a journey that honors just a few of Philly’s own sons of jazz—performed by those who have listened and learned from them and who continue to honor their traditions today. Please join us for each of these four special evenings as we honor The Heath Brothers, Benny Golson, Lee Morgan and McCoy Tyner.
– Megan Fitzgerald, Director of Programming
Learn more about this season’s Jazz Up Close performances.