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Jonathan Kane plans to take a photograph of Queens residents in front of the
Unisphere as an homage to his father’s iconic 1958 photo of jazz musicians in Harlem.
Jonathan Kane plans to take a photograph of Queens residents in front of the Unisphere as an homage to his father’s iconic 1958 photo of jazz musicians in Harlem.

Recreate a piece of history and capture the diversity of the “World’s Borough” at Flushing Meadows Corona Park this spring.

On Aug. 12, 1958, freelance photographer Art Kane took a photo of 57 jazz musicians in front of a brownstone at 17 E. 126th St. in Manhattan for Esquire magazine. Dubbed “A Great Day in Harlem,” the black-and-white image of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and other legends symbolized the genre and neighborhood.

Nearly 60 years later, Art’s son, Jonathan Kane, a photographer/musician living in Jackson Heights, is going to honor the 60th anniversary of his father’s iconic photograph by taking his own visual portrait of Queens residents in front of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, Kane will assemble dozens of Queens residents to enjoy some breakfast and each other’s company before posing for photos in the same basic T formation as seen in “A Great Day in Harlem.”

All participants will get an enlarged copy of the photo, which will be called “A Great Day in Queens”, and Kane plans to create and distribute a poster to interested parties. There are also plans to create a video documentary of the event that could also be used for education, tourism, and general entertainment.

“It’s long been a dream of mine to recreate the image, but with a social and conceptual twist,” said Kane, who has been shooting location photography and producing video for the automotive and trucking industries since 2008. “Queens is the most diverse county on the planet. We speak more than 100 languages, we profess countless faiths and creeds, and best of all, we get along! We are living and celebrating everything that’s great about America every day, and it’s time to share that with the world in a bold and dynamic way.”

For more information or if you’re looking to be a part of this experience, contact Queens Tourism Council Director Rob MacKay at 718-263-0546 or rmackay[@]queensny.org.

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