This Pick of the Week features the talented bassist, composer, and vocalist Esperanza Spalding and a book talk celebrating the 60th anniversary of Art Kane's iconic "Harlem 1958" photograph (also known as "A Great Day in Harlem"). In the spring of 2018, the Library of Congress hosted Spalding in a concert featuring the premiere of the new commission for piano and violin entitled "Accompania me me me ment." Later in 2019, the Library presented saxophonist Benny Golson and photographer Art Kane's son, Jonathan Kane, to talk about the iconic "Harlem 1958" photograph. We hope this edition of the Pick of the Week inspires you to learn more about Esperanza Spalding, the history behind the iconic "Harlem 1958" photograph, and the contributions of Black Americans to the music and culture of this great nation.
A luminous artist with a magnetic stage presence and brilliant chops as an improviser, composer, bassist, and vocalist, Esperanza Spalding is grounded in jazz traditions but never bound by them. Her visionary, "funky yet cerebral" (Downbeat) musical voyages and performances with partners ranging from Herbie Hancock to Prince have won her four Grammy awards and a worldwide fan base. This exhilarating evening features Spalding's new violin and piano commission from the Library. She is joined by Olivia De Prato, violin; Leo Genovese, piano; and Francisco Mela, drums. Program: Esperanza Spalding: "Accompania me me me ment" (McKim Commission).
A handsome new art book marks the 60th anniversary of Art Kane's iconic "Harlem 1958" (also known as "A Great Day in Harlem"). The photograph is a glimpse of jazz history documenting a now-legendary gathering of 57 jazz artists on the steps of a Harlem brownstone. Larry Appelbaum talks with the photographer's son Jonathan Kane and saxophonist Benny Golson, one of two living musicians captured in this eloquent image.
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