10am, August 12th 1958 at 17 East 126th Street in Harlem between Fifth and Madison Avenues – a collection of the most influential jazz musicians of all time gather to be photographed for the front cover of Esquire Magazine by Art Kane.
Harlem '58 tours the music of these iconic names whilst delving into their intricate personalities and the exciting world of jazz in 1950s New York City.
The story begins with Count Basie, an iconic big band leader, who’s musical career began only a few blocks away from the photo location watching master pianist Fats Waller perform at the old Lincon Theatre, NYC.
Each musician links to the next as members of Strictly Smokin’ tell their stories, drawing tales from the exciting world of the New York jazz scene and bring their relationships to life through liver performances.
Mary Lou Williams, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Jones, Gene Krupa, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver and many more.
The show is accompanied by an interactive projection, which not only brings the musicians to life in stills, but also contains rare video footage from the photo day itself.
Harlem '58 is the perfect blend of musical concert, theatrical story telling and documentary theatre all rolled into one production.