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Attention All Twin Cities Jazz Artists! “Great Day in St Paul” Photo Shoot May 22!

Twin Cities
Great Day in St Paul, 1998 bu Byron Nelson
Great Day in St Paul, 1998 by Byron Nelson

Almost every musician and jazz fan has scene the iconic photo, “A Great Day in Harlem”, a gathering of 57 jazz musicians on the steps of a Manhattan brownstone in 1958, photographed by Esquire’s Art Kane. In the Twin Cities, we’ve had our own “Great Day” photo, taken at the Artists Quarter in 1998 by Byron Nelson; the original hung in the AQ until the club closed at the end of 2013. But already Twin Cities Jazz Festival Executive Director Steve Heckler had been hinting that it was time to update that image, and finally, it will happen! All Twin Cities area professional jazz musicians–instrumentalists and vocalists, newbies and veterans, young working artists and still-working and retired elders–are invited to be part of Minnesota jazz history as we hold a new “Great Day in St. Paul” photo shoot on Sunday, May 22, gathering and setting up at 1:00 pm for 1:30 pm shoot in the auditorium of the McNally Smith College of Music in downtown St. Paul. The photo will be offered as a poster to raise funds to support the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Andrea Canter will serve as photographer.

Heckler summarized his motivation in arranging an updated photo reflecting the Twin Cities jazz community. “Knowing the amount of time, dedication and practice needed to become a professional performing jazz musician,  it seems only fitting that as a jazz promoter to offer support to those who have chosen to do so.  These are the true heroes who are keeping the art form of jazz alive.  In 20 years, we can look back to this photo as a time capsule showing the musicians who made it happen.”

You do not need to sign up– just show up! Our goal is to have an image that reflects the diversity of the Twin Cities jazz community. There were only a handful of women in the 1998 photo (only three in “A Great Day in Harlem”!) so jazz women, come and be part of this event!

Remember, 1:00 pm set up, 1:30 pm shoot, Sunday May 22 at McNally Smith! Instruments not needed. We should be done by 2:00!

Questions? Email Andrea at  (Questions please, otherwise just show up!) PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE!!


McNally Smith College of Music is located at 19 E. Exchange Street in downtown St. Paul.