1920s KINETIC African American Jazz Music Photo Pittsburgh PA

$5,500.00

Magnetic energy with motion blur coming off trumpet slides and fiddle bows, musicians playing on chairs and atop the piano trying to fit in the tiny nightclub or boarding house make do stage. Drum skin is painted Blues Lawdy Lawd and the drummer with a STICK IN HIS TEETH. Dating to the transition days of vaudeville to ragtime and early jazz, the photo...

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Magnetic energy with motion blur coming off trumpet slides and fiddle bows, musicians playing on chairs and atop the piano trying to fit in the tiny nightclub or boarding house make do stage. Drum skin is painted Blues Lawdy Lawd and the drummer with a STICK IN HIS TEETH.

Dating to the transition days of vaudeville to ragtime and early jazz, the photo is signed Schenley Heights Studio which likely puts it in the Hill District of Pittsburgh PA - an African American cultural center whose arts scene and famous Crawford Grill (Gus Greenlee also the owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords Negro League Baseball Team) made it a national draw. 

Identifications are difficult, even tough to discern if this is a touring or local band. Perry Bradford seems likely for the banner and if so, Mamie Smith and Ida Cox must be considered for the pianist. Just as likely Mary Lou Williams of Pittsburgh who also played with Bradford.

Iconic photo that rivals any institutional example. Measures 7.5 x 9.25” on board as original with soiling (stains and foxing), scratches and abrasion / loss to the sax player’s face and singers sleeve. 

Not available for international shipping.