IMDb > A Great Day in Harlem (1994)

A Great Day in Harlem (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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A Great Day in Harlem -- In August of 1958, in front of a Harlem brownstone, first-time photographer Art Kane assembled 57 of the greatest jazz stars of all time and snapped a picture that would live forever. Narrated by Quincy Jones, this "irresistible" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times), Academy Award-nominated documentary examines the fascinating lives of the musicians who showed up that day to make history. Through remarkable interviews with nearly 30 jazz greats (including Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Art Blakey), home movies shot by Milt and Mona Hinton, and rare, archival performance footage, A Great Day in Harlem tells the story behind a legendary photograph that is still alive and kicking - and jammin'!


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Release Date:
24 February 1995 (USA) See more »
Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A great film about a truly great day See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Quincy Jones ... Himself / Narrator
Dizzy Gillespie ... Himself

Sonny Rollins ... Himself
Buck Clayton ... Himself
Art Blakey ... Himself
Hank Jones ... Himself
Art Farmer ... Himself
Johnny Griffin ... Himself
Milt Hinton ... Himself
Chubby Jackson ... Himself
Scoville Browne ... Himself
Felix Maxwell ... Himself
Paula Morris ... Herself
Taft Jordan Jr. ... Himself
Everard Powell ... Himself
Marian McPartland ... Herself
Bud Freeman ... Himself
Max Kaminsky ... Himself
Eddie Locke ... Himself
Gerry Mulligan ... Himself
Benny Golson ... Himself
Ernie Wilkins ... Himself
Elaine Lorillard ... Herself
Nat Hentoff ... Himself
Mona Hinton ... Herself
Robert Altschuler ... Himself
Mike Lipskin ... Himself
Steve Frankfurt ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Horace Silver ... Himself
Henry 'Red' Allen ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Count Basie ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Benton ... Himself (uncredited)
Vic Dickenson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Roy Eldridge ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Sonny Greer ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Coleman Hawkins ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jo Jones ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Gene Krupa ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Mingus ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Thelonious Monk ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jimmy Rushing ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pee Wee Russell ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Zutty Singleton ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Stuffy Smith ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Willie 'The Lion' Smith ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Rex Stewart ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Maxine Sullivan ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lester Young ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Bach 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean Bach 
Susan Peehl 
Matthew Seig 

Produced by
Terrell Braly .... executive producer
Stuart Samuels .... associate producer
Matthew Seig .... co-producer
Cinematography by
Steve Petropoulos 
Film Editing by
Susan Peehl 
Sound Department
Judy Benjamin .... sound recordist
Chris Burke .... sound effects
Neal Gettinger .... sound recordist (as Neil Gettinger)
Steven Hertzog .... sound recordist
Jerry Stein .... sound mixer
Roy B. Yokelson .... post-production sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Del Hall .... additional cinematographer
Ralph Pitre .... animation camera operator
Animation Department
Michael Bianchi .... animator: title animation
Editorial Department
Phil Fallo .... on-line editor
Music Department
Rick Eisenstein .... music clearances
Johnny Mandel .... music consultant
Other crew
Mark Cantor .... archival consultant
Andreas Combuchen .... title designer
Milt Hinton .... source: original 8 mm film
Mona Hinton .... source: original 8 mm film

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

60 min
Sound Mix:

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Referenced in The Terminal (2004)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A great film about a truly great day, 10 September 1999
Author: DrWatson

This film is a must not only for jazz fans, but for those who are interested in a history of American music. This film truly captures a moment in time. In the early 1950's all of the prominent jazz musicians in New York were asked to assemble in front of a Harlem brown-stone for their photograph to be taken. The photo would be used as the cover for an all jazz issue of Esquire magazine. The young photographer who was in charge of the shoot (this was his first assignment as a photographer)was soon overwhelmed at the amount of talent which assembled that morning. Among the luminaries: Count Basie, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Gene Krupa, and countless others. All who turned out that day were legends in their own right. The day is recalled through a series of interviews with those participants still living. Some of the stories are humorous, some touching, but the warmth and emotion felt by the interviewees is evident throughout. All in all a wonderful film about a moment captured forever in time. It can be safely said that the moment this film and the photo captured, is a moment when the greatest musicians of the century were at the same place at the same time. An important and entertaining film.

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