Tri-C JazzFest Creates 'A Great Day in Cleveland'
April 09, 2014
It was truly “A Great Day in Cleveland.”
One hundred forty three jazz musicians, music writers, jazz supporters and enthusiasts showed up at PlayhouseSquare April 9 for Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland’s “A Great Day in Cleveland” photo shoot.
The photo was inspired by the iconic “A Great Day in Harlem,” originally published by Esquire magazine in 1959. Photographer Art Kane grabbed the shot, which features 57 jazz musicians in front of a Harlem brownstone.
Jonathan Wayne, associate professor of photography at Tri-C, and students in his editorial photography course coordinated the Cleveland shoot. Students met with JazzFest Director Terri Pontremoli two weeks before the session to iron out details. Setup began the day before the shoot.
“Prepare, prepare, prepare, improvise,” Wayne said.
Indeed, organizers expected about 60 people to respond to requests to participate in the photo, which was taken to commemorate the 35th anniversary of JazzFest.
The picture was shot in the main lobby of PlayhouseSquare, and as guests milled about before the shoot, the room felt like a reunion of sorts. Musicians of all ages recalled gigs and venues that have defined and continue to define the jazz scene in Northeast Ohio. A genuine sense of enthusiasm hung over the proceedings.
Musicians Jamey Haddad and Ernie Krivda participated in the shoot. Both are scheduled to perform at JazzFest this year. Also in attendance were Tommy LiPuma, music producer and namesake of the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, and keyboardist Eddie Baccus Sr., a Cleveland jazz legend.
“I see people I have not seen in a while,” said Cleveland resident Paul Lewis. “Cleveland has a great jazz history.”
Lewis brought with him a copy of the Esquire magazine in which “A Great Day in Harlem” appeared, spread over two pages and in black and white.
“A Great Day in Cleveland” will not be for sale; however, everyone in the picture will receive a copy. It will be reproduced in black and white.
Tri-C students also are creating a video about the making of the photo, which will be screened at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, which has scheduled a series of jazz-related movies around the same time as JazzFest, this year set for June 26-28 at PlayhouseSquare.