Icons From An Image: A Great Day In Harlem Revisited w/ Terrence Brewer
Discover Jazz Series w/ Terrence Brewer
The Music of 'A Great Day In Harlem'

Icons From An Image: 'A Great Day In Harlem' Revisited

2021-22 | Discover Jazz

Oct 27 - Nov 17, 2021
Joe Henderson Lab

This page is an archive of a past production

Please visit our calendar for all upcoming SFJAZZ shows.


Original show description below.

On August 12th, 1958, one iconic photograph captured who and what jazz was, while also showcasing to the world what jazz was becoming, and the pioneers, innovators, and legends who would pave the path. Art Kane, an experienced art director but novice photographer at the time of the shoot, brought together 58 jazz luminaries spanning the legacy of the musical styles that gave birth to jazz while also capturing the figures who were evolving jazz into its next iteration. From some of the greatest stride pianists to ever touch the keys (Lucky Roberts, Willie “The Lion” Smith), Count Basie, members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (Freddie Green, Jimmy Rushing, Rex Stewart), to virtuosos who built the foundation of Black American Music (Roy Eldridge, Gene Krupa, Stuff Smith, Pee Wee Russel, Papa Jo Jones), and those who would forever redefine all forms of improvised music (Benny Golson, Marian McPartland, Mary Lou Williams, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Gigi Gryce, Coleman Hawkins, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and more...). We honor these iconic artists and their indelible contributions to jazz/Black American Music.

Join SFJAZZ, Terrence Brewer, and an amazing cast of musicians as we explore the music and the musicians of A Great Day in Harlem. This course combines lecture-style presentation, audio/video, and live performances by some of the most talented and inspired musicians today.

Full Course Series: $60 (Members) / $75 (Public)
Individual Class: $25 (Members) / $30 (Public)


CLASS 2, NOV 10th • The Innovators

Amidst this eclectic group of artists assembled for A Great Day in Harlem was a cadre of jazz musicians who would serve as the spark which would ignite a new fire within the music. Some of these innovators were outliers in their respective areas of jazz, like Lester Young advancing the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic single-note improvisation lines of every horn player after him, but doing so from the world of the 20’ & 30’s swing band/big band era. Innovators like Benny Golson, and Gigi Gryce progressed the chordal, orchestral and melodic lines of the previous generation with their distinctive, creative and fresh compositional approaches. Still others, like Mary Lou WIlliams and Marian McPartland, would innovate by pushing through social and gender barriers to make their mark on the jazz world leading the way for generations to come. Join Terrence Brewer and an amazing lineup of musicians as we explore the lives, the music and pay tribute to the innovators of A Great Day in Harlem.

Karen Horner bass
Kristen Strom alto & tenor saxophones
Anne Sajdera piano
Sylvia Cuenca drums
Terrence Brewer guitar

Class 3, NOV 17th • The Giants
The iconic photoshoot and documentary, A Great Day in Harlem, captured this amazingly literal snapshot in the history of jazz. The photo contains pioneers like Roy Eldridge, Papa Jo Jones, Count Basie and Willie”‘The Lion” Smith. On the stoop of that brownstone in Harlem located at 17 East 126th Street, were musical trendsetters and innovators like Mary Lou Willimas, Benny Golson, Gigi Gryce and Marian McPartland. And then there were The Giants...musicians who would transcend time, space and the genre of jazz itself, leaving musical legacies that have shaped countless generations of musicians and music lovers who followed after them. Greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins and others. Join Terrence Brewer and an amazing lineup of musicians as we explore the lives, the music and pay tribute to the giants of A Great Day in Harlem.

Heshima Mark Williams bass
Kristen Strom tenor saxophone
Art Khu piano
Terrence Brewer guitar
Ruth Price drums

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