News / Arts & Entertainment

Ryszard Horowitz Photographs 'All That Jazz'

Ryszard Horowitz Photographs 'All That Jazz'i
X
February 06, 2014 9:03 PM
At the height of Cold War, pianist Dave Brubeck and his band toured Poland. They were met with tremendous enthusiasm by the Polish people, including Ryszard Horowitz. VOA’s Eric Felten talks with Horowitz about the pictures he took of Brubeck, photographs published in the book “All That Jazz.”
Ryszard Horowitz Photographs 'All That Jazz'
Eric Felten
In 1958, at the height of Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, American pianist Dave Brubeck and his band toured Poland, then a communist state under Soviet control. The trip was an early effort at "jazz diplomacy," and was met with tremendous enthusiasm by the Polish people, including a student with a camera, Ryszard Horowitz. 
 
"Although I had no idea I'd become a professional photographer in the future, I loved taking photographs," said Horowitz.
 
Horowitz said it wasn't easy being a budding photographer in post-war Poland. Film was hard to get.
 
"Some better film I managed to gather from some of my friends who were studying film, and they had film in bulk, used for motion picture cameras," he said. "So I would cut it into pieces."
 
Horowitz used that film to take pictures of the underground jazz scene in Krakow.
 
"Most of the subjects of my photographs were my friends, jazz musicians," he said. "We were following music, and waiting and praying that one of those days a true American jazz artist would come and visit us. So when we found out in 1958 that the Dave Brubeck Quartet was arriving in Krakow, we were just so elated."
 
Brubeck was traveling, not only with his band, but with his wife and two sons, and Horowitz says the pianist was anxious during his first trip behind the iron curtain.
 
"But once he met all of us, all of us jazz-aficionados, he knew that he was in the right place," Horowitz said.
 
Eventually Horowitz went to New York City to study art. In the U.S. he again had the chance to photograph the young Polish jazz musicians who were his friends back in Krakow.
 
"The Newport Jazz Festival invited a group of Polish musicians – a quintet – that was all my friends, all five of them," he said. "And so when they arrived in New York we spent lots time together and so I decided to follow them to Newport."
 
At the Newport Jazz Festival, Horowitz photographed not only his friends, but many of the greatest musicians in jazz: trumpeter Louis Armstrong, pianist and bandleader Count Basie, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and composer Duke Ellington and his orchestra.
 
"I was at one of the Ellington concerts," he said, "and they were obviously very tired, and during the break, most of them fell asleep on the stage."
 
Ryszard Horowitz's photos of jazz musicians have been collected into the book, "All That Jazz." Fifty years after traveling to Poland, Dave Brubeck saw the photos Horowitz had taken. Brubeck, who died in 2012, wrote the photos "capture the enthusiasm and warmth" they felt from audiences all over Poland. It was an enthusiasm that would have consequences.
 
"Partially because of the influx of jazz, and later on Rock ‘n' Roll and pop, it brought young people together and initiated this notion of tearing down the wall," said Horowitz.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."