Billie Holiday performing live at the Downbeat club February 1948 in New York City, part of the Metronome Magazine Jazz Archives and courtesy of Limited Runs.

Billie Holiday performing live at the Downbeat club February 1948 in New York City, part of the Metronome Magazine Jazz Archives and courtesy of Limited Runs.

Imagine you’re at an intimate party, surrounded by some of jazz’s greatest icons – Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway. Everyone is impeccably dressed, in the way that only men and women of the 1930s to 1950s can be. But as you slowly take in the crowd, ticking off the names of famous guests, you catch them in off-guard moments. A kiss. A smile. A pensive thought. And suddenly, the barrier of history and celebrity is broken, and their everyday humanity shines through, making it clear why their music has had such universal and timely appeal.

There’s just such a party going on this weekend at Savery Gallery, 319 N. 11th Street, Saturday, July 25, 11 am – 6 pm, thanks to an exhibition of the Metronome Jazz Photo Collection, presented by Limited Runs. The photography series comes from the archives of Metronome Magazine, whose coverage from the swing era to the 1960s focused primarily on jazz. The exhibition will be touring the US, but if you miss the stop in Philly, you can still purchase the works online.

Caitlin T. McCormack

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