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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”