Jerry Dantzic: Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: With a reflection by Zadie Smith
A vivid, intimate, and largely unseen photographic chronicle of one week in the life of jazz icon Billie Holiday.
In 1957, New York photojournalist Jerry Dantzic spent time with the iconic singer Billie Holiday during a week-long run of performances at the Newark, New Jersey, nightclub Sugar Hill. The resulting images offer a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of Billie with her family, friends, and her pet chihuahua, Pepe; playing with her godchild (son of her autobiography’s coauthor, 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.
Only a handful of the photographs in the book have ever been published. In her text, Zadie Smith evokes Lady Day herself and shows us what she sees as she inhabits these images and reveals what she is thinking.
- 90 illustrations