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Billie Holiday

Artist:
Roy DeCarava, 9 Dec 1919 - 27 Oct 2009
Sitter:
Billie Holiday, 7 Apr 1915 - 17 Jul 1959
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 33.1 x 25.4cm (13 1/16 x 10")
Sheet: 35.3 x 27.6cm (13 7/8 x 10 7/8")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.8 x 56.5 x 3.8cm (28 1/4 x 22 1/4 x 1 1/2")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1957 (printed 1982)
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Billie Holiday: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.345
Rights:
© Roy DeCarava
Exhibition Label:
Renowned for making songs her own, Billie Holiday once explained, "I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That's all I know." This attitude characterized not only her singing style but her life as well. Having endured a difficult childhood, Holiday moved to New York City in 1927. Intent on fashioning a musical career, she began performing to supplement her meager income as a housemaid. Success onstage led to recording opportunities and, beginning in 1937, a close working relationship with Count Basie's band. Holiday later joined the Artie Shaw Orchestra, becoming one of the first African American singers to headline an all-white band. Despite the stardom she achieved, Holiday suffered various personal crises during the last two decades of her life, several of which were the result of drug and alcohol abuse.
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Charlie Parker

Artist:
Dennis Stock, 24 Jul 1928 - 18 Jan 2010
Sitter:
Charlie Parker, 29 Aug 1920 - 12 Mar 1955
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 34 x 26.3cm (13 3/8 x 10 3/8")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1950
Topic:
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Charlie Parker: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Charlie Parker: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Charlie Parker: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.85.85
Rights:
© Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos
Exhibition Label:
Music is your own experience, your own thoughts,
your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out
of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line
to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art.
Jazz musician and saxophonist Charlie ("Bird") Parker was a pioneer of mid-twentieth-century free jazz and later the bebop movement. Parker's deconstruction of traditional jazz melodies allowed him to accelerate and lengthen the individual lines of his solos. This was the musical equivalent of Whitman's breaking of the iambic pentameter line and creating free verse.
Tragically, Parker's career was marked by heavy drug use as he sought to erase the boundary line between the individual and the art.
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Sidney Bechet

Artist:
Arthur Leipzig, 25 Oct 1918 - 5 Dec 2014
Sitter:
Sidney Bechet, 14 May 1897 - 14 May 1959
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 19.1 x 23.8 cm (7 1/2 x 9 3/8")
Sheet: 20.3 x 25.2 cm (8 x 9 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
Frame: 56.7 x 41.4 x 3.2 cm (22 5/16 x 16 5/16 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1945
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Sidney Bechet: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Sidney Bechet: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Sidney Bechet: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Sidney Bechet: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Clarinet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.11
Rights:
© Arthur Leipzig
Exhibition Label:
Arthur Leipzig's portrait shows Sidney Bechet at the legendary New York nightclub Jimmy Ryan's, playing the soprano saxophone, the instrument for which Bechet was most celebrated. Together with Louis Armstrong, he helped to bring New Orleans jazz to the world. Although no less talented, Bechet never attained the popularity that Armstrong achieved in America, in part because of his often bristly personality. Yet critics and fellow musicians recognized his musical genius and respected his commitment to "doing it your own way." As one reviewer wrote in 1919, when Bechet was only twenty-two, his "'own way' is perhaps the highway [on which] the whole world will swing along tomorrow." To Armstrong, his playing was like a "jug full of golden honey." After a lifetime of touring, Bechet moved in 1951 to Paris, where he enjoyed a wide following.
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Ben Webster

Artist:
Esther Bubley, 16 Feb 1921 - 16 Mar 1998
Sitter:
Ben Webster, 20 Mar 1909 - 20 Sep 1973
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image/Sheet: 29cm x 19.1cm (11 7/16" x 7 1/2")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1952
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Necklace
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Ring
Equipment\Sound Devices\Microphone
Interior\Studio
Architecture\Door
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Ben Webster: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Ben Webster: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Ben Webster: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Ben Webster: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.92.62
Rights:
© Esther Bubley
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Ethel Waters

Artist:
Carl Van Vechten, 17 Jun 1880 - 21 Dec 1964
Sitter:
Ethel Waters, 1896 - 1977
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
23cm x 17.6cm (9 1/16" x 6 15/16"), Image
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1932
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Headgear\Hat
Ethel Waters: Literature\Writer
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Ethel Waters: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Blues
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.90.41
Rights:
© Carl Van Vechten Trust
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Louis Armstrong

Artist:
Bob Willoughby, 30 Jun 1927 - 18 Dec 2009
Sitter:
Louis Armstrong, 4 Aug 1901 - 6 Jul 1971
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 35.2 x 24 cm. (13 7/8 x 9 7/16")
Sheet: 40.2 x 30.3 cm. (15 13/16 x 11 15/16")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Culver City
Date:
1956 (printed 1994)
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Interior\Studio\Film
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Willoughby
Object number:
NPG.97.92
Rights:
© Bob Willoughby
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Billie Holiday

Artist:
Bob Willoughby, 30 Jun 1927 - 18 Dec 2009
Sitter:
Billie Holiday, 7 Apr 1915 - 17 Jul 1959
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 25.2 x 35.3 cm. (19 15/16 x 13 15/16")
Sheet: 40.2 x 30.2 cm. (11 7/8 x 15 13/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1cm (22 x 28")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
1951 (printed 1991)
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Necklace
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Interior
Billie Holiday: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Willoughby
Object number:
NPG.97.96
Rights:
© Bob Willoughby
Exhibition Label:
Duke Ellington called Billie Holiday "the essence of cool," a reference to her equipoise in performance. The most influential jazz vocalist of all time, Holiday had a controlled emotional power that transformed even trite ballads into romantic short stories. Born Eleonora Harris and partially raised in a New York City brothel, she crafted a cool vocal style by tempering Bessie Smith’s shouting power with Louis Armstrong’s rhythmic nuance, then honed her craft on the road with the Count Basie Orchestra. Lester Young named her "Lady Day," and in their chamber jazz classics, such as "All of Me," voice and saxophone curl around each other into smoky swirls of late-night yearning. Late in life Holiday, a drug addict and survivor of abusive relationships, sang in a cracked, broken voice that remained true to the jazz practice of self-expression.
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Gerry Mulligan

Artist:
Bob Willoughby, 30 Jun 1927 - 18 Dec 2009
Sitter:
Gerald "Gerry" Mulligan, 6 Apr 1927 - 19 Jan 1996
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 32.1 x 25.4 cm. (12 5/8 x 10")
Sheet: 40.3 x 30.3 cm. (15 7/8 x 11 15/16")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\California\Los Angeles\Los Angeles
Date:
1953 (printed 1990)
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Interior\Studio\Recording
Gerald "Gerry" Mulligan: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Willoughby
Object number:
NPG.97.94
Rights:
© Bob Willoughby
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Louis Armstrong

Artist:
Philippe Halsman, 1906 - 1979
Sitter:
Louis Armstrong, 4 Aug 1901 - 6 Jul 1971
Medium:
Chromogenic print
Dimensions:
Image/sheet: 40.5 x 50.6 cm (15 15/16 x 19 15/16")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Date:
1966 (printed later)
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Ring
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Watch\Wrist watch
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.98.36
Rights:
© Philippe Halsman Archive
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Artie Shaw

Artist:
Anton Bruehl, 1900 - 1982
Sitter:
Artie Shaw, 23 May 1910 - 29 Dec 2004
Medium:
Dye transfer print
Dimensions:
Image/Sheet: 35.5 x 27.7 cm. (14 x 10 15/16" )
Mount: 40.6 x 33 cm. (16 x 13")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
c. 1939
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Drum
Artie Shaw: Literature\Writer
Artie Shaw: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Artie Shaw: Education\Educator\Lecturer
Artie Shaw: Performing Arts\Producer\Motion Pictures
Artie Shaw: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Artie Shaw: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Clarinet
Artie Shaw: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Bandmaster
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.98.54
Rights:
©Estate of Anton Bruehl
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Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn

Artist:
William Paul Gottlieb, 28 Jan 1917 - 23 Apr 2006
Sitter:
Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn, 1915 - 1967
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 33.2 x 26.7 cm (13 1/16 x 10 1/2")
Sheet: 35.3 x 27.9 cm (13 7/8 x 11")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.9 x 56.7 x 3.2 cm (28 5/16 x 22 5/16 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
c. 1945 (printed 1979)
Topic:
Interior
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigar
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Bracelet
Music\Sheet music
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Billy "Sweet Pea" Strayhorn: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Arranger
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.98.87
Rights:
© William P. Gottlieb, from the Library of Congress Collection
Exhibition Label:
Composer/pianist Billy Strayhorn never achieved the celebrity that some other jazz musicians enjoyed in their lifetimes. Nevertheless, his composing and arranging collaboration with Duke Ellington over three decades yielded many of the most memorable compositions in the history of jazz. In fact, Ellington and Strayhorn worked so closely that it was often difficult to determine where one began and the other left off. As Ellington once put it, "Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head."
Among Strayhorn's greatest assets was a solid musical education that included thorough grounding in classical music. Doubtless that training contributed to the remarkably sophisticated character of many of his compositions and the echoes of such composers as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel that can be found in them.
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Sarah Vaughan

Artist:
Josef Breitenbach, 1896 - 1984
Sitter:
Sarah Vaughan, 27 Mar 1924 - 3 Apr 1990
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 34.2 x 26.7 cm (13 7/16 x 10 1/2")
Sheet: 25.4 x 27.8 cm (10 x 10 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.9 x 56.7 x 3.2 cm (28 5/16 x 22 5/16 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1950
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Jewelry\Earring
Indeterminable
Sarah Vaughan: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Sarah Vaughan: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Sarah Vaughan: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.99.160
Rights:
© The Josef and Yaye Breitenbach Charitable Foundation
Exhibition Label:
Known popularly as "the divine Sarah" and "Sassy," Sarah Vaughan was regarded as one of the premier female vocalists of her day. She was drawn to music from an early age, and as a youth she studied piano and sang in her church choir. When Vaughan was eighteen, she entered an amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theater on a dare and won first prize. This success led to frequent invitations to perform alongside the leading figures in contemporary jazz, including Earl "Fatha" Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billy Eckstein. Adept at bebop improvisation, Vaughan possessed a wonderfully versatile voice that complemented a larger jazz ensemble. By 1950-the year in which Josef Breitenbach created this portrait-she was selling upwards of three million records annually. During this period, a poll in Down Beat magazine named her the top female singer for six consecutive years.
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Keith Jarrett

Artist:
Abe Frajndlich, born 1946
Sitter:
Keith Jarrett, born 1945
Medium:
Chromogenic print
Dimensions:
Image: 48.3 x 33.4 cm (19 x 13 1/8")
Sheet: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\Pennsylvania\Monroe\Delaware Water Gap
Date:
1987 (printed 2000)
Topic:
Interior
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Keith Jarrett: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Keith Jarrett: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Paulette and Kurt Olden in memory of Lily E. Kay
Object number:
NPG.2000.82
Rights:
© Abe Frajndlich 1987/2000
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George Gershwin

Artist:
Edward Jean Steichen, 27 Mar 1879 - 25 Mar 1973
Publication:
Vanity Fair, active 1914 - 1936
Sitter:
George Gershwin, 26 Sep 1898 - 11 Jul 1937
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.1 x 19.2cm (9 1/2 x 7 9/16")
Sheet: 25.3 x 20.1cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1927
Topic:
Interior
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
George Gershwin: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Portraitist
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Songwriter
George Gershwin: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
George Gershwin: Congressional Gold Medal
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired in memory of Agnes and Eugene Meyer through the generosity of Katharine Graham and the New York Community Trust, The Island Fund
Object number:
NPG.2001.22
Rights:
© The Conde Nast Publications, Inc./Joanna T. Steichen
Exhibition Label:
In highly original compositions for the musical stage and the concert hall, George Gershwin captured the vibrant spirit of the jazz age like no other American composer. A precocious talent, Gershwin began writing music in his teens. At twenty-one, he produced his first hit song-"Swanee"-and completed his first Broadway score. His musical-theater credits soon included such hits as Oh, Kay! (1926), Funny Face (1927), and Girl Crazy (1930). In 1924, Gershwin introduced the jazz idiom to the concert hall with his groundbreaking Rhapsody in Blue, a work immediately hailed as a modern classic. His commitment to serious composition continued with his Concerto in F (1925) and An American in Paris (1928), reaching its culmination with the premier of his opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. Gershwin died just two years later, after completing the score for his first Hollywood film, Shall We Dance.
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Fred Astaire

Artist:
Edward Jean Steichen, 27 Mar 1879 - 25 Mar 1973
Sitter:
Fred Astaire, 10 May 1899 - 22 Jun 1987
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.2 x 19.3cm (9 1/2 x 7 5/8")
Sheet: 25.2 x 20.2cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Frame: 56.5 x 41.3 x 3.2cm (22 1/4 x 16 1/4 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1927
Topic:
Equipment\Walking stick\Cane
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Headgear\Hat\Top hat
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigarette holder
Architecture\Pedestal
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Theater
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Vaudeville
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Television
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Performer\Dancer\Tap
Fred Astaire: Performing Arts\Choreographer
Fred Astaire: Oscar
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; acquired in memory of Agnes and Eugene Meyer through the generosity of Katharine Graham and the New York Community Trust, The Island Fund
Object number:
NPG.2001.15
Rights:
© The Estate of Edward Steichen/Joanna T. Steichen
Exhibition Label:
Already well established as musical theater's "fleetest of jazz steppers," Fred Astaire was starring on Broadway in Funny Face when he posed for this image. The dancer-actor would achieve his greatest fame in the 1930s, when he went to Hollywood to make movie musicals and teamed up with Ginger Rogers. Starring together in such confections as The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, and Shall We Dance, Astaire and Rogers brought a romantic glamour to their films that was uniquely their own, and their silver-screen elegance provided moviegoers with a much-welcomed escape from the gray realities of the Depression. Astaire had a genius for making his dancing seem effortless, but behind the finished performance, he said, were long days of experimenting that often produced "nothing but exhaustion."
By transforming Astaire's signature top hat into a recurring motif, Steichen offers a clever visual reference to his subject's style and sophistication.
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Coleman Hawkins

Artist:
Ronny Jaques, born 1910
Sitter:
Coleman Hawkins, 21 Nov 1904 - 20 May 1969
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 34.7 x 27.1 cm (13 11/16 x 10 11/16")
Sheet: 35.1 x 27.8 cm (13 13/16 x 10 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.9 x 56.7 x 3.2 cm (28 5/16 x 22 5/16 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
c. 1942
Topic:
Interior
Music\Musical instrument\Saxophone
Coleman Hawkins: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Saxophonist
Coleman Hawkins: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Dan Okrent
Object number:
NPG.2002.101
Rights:
© Ronny Jaques
Exhibition Label:
Coleman Hawkins transformed the tenor saxophone into one of the signature instruments in jazz. Once regarded as a comic instrument, the saxophone became, in Hawkins's hands, the centerpiece for explorations in this musical tradition. Hawkins first began playing the saxophone at age nine. He moved to New York City in 1923, where he found work with the Fletcher Henderson group. Influenced by trumpeter Louis Armstrong, he pioneered a form of improvisation based on chords rather than melody. By the time he recorded his famous "Body and Soul" in 1939, Hawkins was recognized as the premier saxophonist in jazz and a hero to a new generation of musicians. An international celebrity, he traveled widely in North America and Europe and continued to experiment with his instrument's creative possibilities until his death.
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Fatha Hines

Artist:
Ronny Jaques, born 1910
Sitter:
Earl Kenneth Hines, 1905 - 1983
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 27 x 27.1 cm (10 5/8 x 10 11/16")
Sheet: 35.2 x 27.8 cm (13 7/8 x 10 15/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
Frame: 71.9 x 56.7 x 3.2 cm (28 5/16 x 22 5/16 x 1 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
c. 1942
Topic:
Interior
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Earl Kenneth Hines: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Earl Kenneth Hines: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2002.102
Rights:
© Ronny Jacques
Exhibition Label:
Earl Hines was given the nickname "Fatha" by a Chicago disc jockey in part because of his genial, fatherly personality, but also in tribute to Hines as the progenitor of modern jazz piano. Playing hornlike lines with one hand and chords with the other, Hines elevated the role of the piano as a solo instrument and, in the process, became the most influential jazz pianist of his generation. A church organist as a child, he resettled in 1924 in Chicago, where his playing partners included trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Shortly thereafter, he formed his own big band, which performed regularly at the Grand Terrace Ballroom and toured throughout North America and later Europe and Russia. During the 1940s, when bebop was transforming jazz with its fast tempos and improvisation, Hines's band continued to grow, nurturing new talent that included trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker.
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Louis Armstrong

Artist:
Anton Bruehl, 1900 - 1982
Sitter:
Louis Armstrong, 4 Aug 1901 - 6 Jul 1971
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.8 x 19.4cm (9 3/4 x 7 5/8")
Sheet: 25.7 x 20.2cm (10 1/8 x 7 15/16")
Mount: 27.9 x 22.8cm (11 x 9")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Frame: 59.7 x 43.8 x 3.8cm (23 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 1 1/2")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Date:
1935
Topic:
Music\Musical instrument\Trumpet
Interior\Studio\Photography
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Singer\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Louis Armstrong: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Horn\Trumpet
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2001.77
Rights:
© Estate of Anton Bruehl
Exhibition Label:
With his instrumental virtuosity, raspy voice, and ebullient personality, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong created an international audience for New Orleans jazz. The trumpeter, singer, and bandleader grew up poor in the red-light district of that city where jazz was born. Moving to Chicago, he soon formed his own band and began producing groundbreaking recordings. For many years, he and his bands toured worldwide. A jovial goodwill ambassador, Armstrong once dedicated a song to England's George VI with the greeting, "This one's for you, Rex." Armstrong's "scat" singing, rhythmic adventurousness, technical brilliance, and virtuoso improvisations made him one of the preeminent shapers of American jazz.
The photographer of this portrait, Anton Bruehl, a leading commercial photographer of his day, created abstract patterns of light and shadow through elaborate lighting designs. This was one of many of his theatrically staged celebrity photographs to appear in Vanity Fair.
Born New Orleans, Louisiana
One of the most influential artists in jazz history, Louis Armstrong learned to play the cornet as an impoverished New Orleans youth. By the early 1920s, he was working in riverboat dance bands when King Oliver hired him to play with his Creole Jazz Band in Chicago. Armstrong then struck out on his own, playing with all the leading bands of the era and making the recordings that established him as the first great jazz soloist. He had a formative influence on jazz, both as a solo instrumentalist and as a vocalist, where he was as skilled at scat singing as he was at melody. His larger-than-life personality—instantly recognizable not only on stage but in movies, radio, television, and through cultural diplomacy—made Armstrong a major international figure in the promotion of American popular music.
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Max Roach

Artist:
Philippe Lévy-Stab, born 1967
Sitter:
Max Roach, 10 Jan 1924 - 16 Aug 2007
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 20 x 20.2 cm (7 7/8 x 7 15/16")
Sheet: 30.3 x 23.5 cm (11 15/16 x 9 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
France\Île-de-France\Ville de Paris, Départment de\Paris
Date:
1995
Topic:
Max Roach: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Max Roach: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Composer
Max Roach: Education\Educator\Professor
Max Roach: Education\Educator\Teacher\Music
Max Roach: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Max Roach: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Drummer
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Philippe Levy-Stab
Object number:
NPG.2004.131
Rights:
© 2005 Philippe Levy-Stab
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
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Ray Brown

Artist:
Philippe Lévy-Stab, born 1967
Sitter:
Raymond Matthews Brown, 13 Oct 1926 - 2 Jul 2002
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image: 20 x 20.2cm (7 7/8 x 7 15/16")
Sheet: 30.3 x 23.5cm (11 15/16 x 9 1/4")
Type:
Photograph
Place:
France\Île-de-France\Ville de Paris, Départment de
Date:
1992
Topic:
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigar
Music\Musical instrument\Bass
Raymond Matthews Brown: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Jazz
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Philippe Levy-Stab
Object number:
NPG.2004.129
Rights:
© 2005 Philippe Levy-Stab
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
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