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Jerry Dantzic: Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill

With a reflection by Zadie Smith

Jerry Dantzic (Author), Grayson Dantzic (Text by)

With an Introduction by Zadie Smith

Logo markA Thames & Hudson book


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. Later that same year, Dantzic photographed her in color at the second New York Jazz Festival at Randall’s Island. 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.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • Forthcoming April 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-500-54465-5
  • 9.5 × 12.4 in / 144 pages
  • Sales Territory: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.