Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill

  1. Photographs by Jerry Dantzic
  2. Text by Grayson Dantzic
  • ISBN 9780500544655
  • 30.50 x 23.00 cm
  • PLC (with jacket)
  • 144pp
  • Illustrated in black and white throughout
  • First published 2017

Introduction by Zadie Smith

A vivid, intimate and compelling photographic portrait of Billie Holiday, the epitome of the jazz singer and one of 20th-century music’s most iconic figures, published here for the first time

Billie Holiday

In 1957, New York photojournalist Jerry Dantzic spent time with the iconic singer Billie Holiday during a two-week 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 chiuhuaha, Pepe; playing with her godchild (son of her autobiography’s co-author, 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 year, Dantzic photographed her at the second New York Jazz Festival at Randall’s Island, in colour. Only a handful of the photographs in this book have ever been published.

Jerry Dantzic was a photojournalist. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney and The Museum of Modern Art.
Grayson Dantzic is a photographer and photo archivist and son of Jerry Dantzic.