Jazz by
Ed van
der Elsken

Between 1955 and 1961 Ed van der Elsken visited and photographed the famous late night jazz concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw by renowned artists such as Chet Baker, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and Art Blakey.

Van der Elsken (1925-1990) came into contact with jazz through the music of Chet Baker, whose performance in 1955 was the first ever jazz concert Ed van der Elsken photographed. He felt attracted to Baker’s music due to its melancholy and existential feelings, which resounded in the music. His jazz pictures were soon published in a famous Amsterdam newspaper and after Chet Baker, other famous jazz names followed, such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, and John Coltrane.

‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’concert, Dizzy Gillespie, Amsterdam (24 May 1958) – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken
Chet Bakker, Amsterdam (17 September 1955) – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken
Bertice Reading (vocal) and Ruud Jacobs (bass), Amsterdam (9 June 1957) – Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

A selection of photographs from the collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum will be shown at the festival. The exhibit was compiled by the museum and made possible by Nationale-Nederlanden.