Newark Jazz People: The Photographs of Bill May
|February 6 – April 10, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6, 2014, 6-8pm
The Newark Jazz People exhibit marks the launch of Barbara Kukla’s new book America’s Music: Jazz in Newark—a Comprehensive History of an American City. One of the events heralding Aljira’s 30th anniversary, it is one of many collaborations involving the author and jazz photographer Bill May over the course of the past twenty years.
A seminal figure on Newark’s jazz scene since his youth, May began playing jazz bass at Newark’s South Side High School, served as music director at Neil’s New Yorker theater club and taught music in Newark Public Schools, where he eventually became the district’s director of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. As a Newark musician and longtime observer of the jazz scene worldwide, May’s images capture the essence of the famous and not-so-famous jazz artists who contributed to the city’s rich jazz history.
Author Barbara J. Kukla is a former editor at the Star-Ledger. America’s Music: Jazz in Newark is her fifth book about the people of New Jersey’s largest city. The book traces Newark’s rich jazz history from the 1920s on, focusing on the lives and careers of jazz immortals Sarah Vaughan, James Moody, Wayne Shorter and Woody Shaw as well as the singers and musicians who made Newark a jazz epicenter through the years.
Meet author Barbara J. Kukla (Swing City: Newark Nightlife, 1925-50) as she signs copies of her new book, America’s Music: Jazz in Newark—a Comprehensive History of an American City.