Jazz Portraits A – D

Cab Calloway

I first worked with the legendary Cab Calloway in 1985, when he performed at a Floating Jazz Festival and was fortunate to continue to work with him into the early 1990s. In 1986 I undertook a project that was issued in book form in 1997 as The Ghosts of Harlem. The book consisted of formal portraits of noted performers who’d worked in Harlem during its golden age in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as interviews. One of the first people I photographed and interviewed was Cab, at his home in White Plains, New York. It just so happened his wife, Nuffie, had found an old advertising banner in their attic the day before and Cab was obviously happy to hold it and hold still still while I set up and photographed him with my old wooden Deardorff.