An intimate photographic portrait of Billie Holiday, the epitome of the jazz singer and one of 20th-century music’s most iconic figures, with an introduction by Zadie Smith. Jerry Dantzic was a photojournalist. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney and The Museum of Modern Art. Grayson Dantzic, Jerry’s son, is a photographer and photo archivist. Zadie Smith is a novelist, essayist and short story writer.
100 illustrations 30.5 x 23.0 cm 144pp hardback ISBN 978 0 500 544655 October £24.95
Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill Photographs by Jerry Dantzic • Text by Grayson Dantzic Introduction by Zadie Smith 40
In 1957, New York photojournalist Jerry Dantzic spent time with the iconic singer Billie Holiday during a two-week run of performances at the Newark, New Jersey, nightclub Sugar Hill. The resulting images offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Billie at work and at play. We see her with her family, friends and her pet chiuhuaha, Pepe; playing with her godchild (son of her autobiography’s co-author, William Dufty); washing dishes at the Duftys’ home; walking the streets of Newark; in her hotel room; waiting backstage or having a drink in front of the stage; and performing. The years and the struggles seem to vanish when she sings: her face lights up. Later that year, Dantzic photographed her at the second New York Jazz Festival at Randall’s Island, in colour. Only a handful of the photographs in this book have ever been published.