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From Ella to Pocahontas

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Portrait of Teddy Kaye, Vivien Garry, and Arv(in) Charles Garrison, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948. Photograph by William P. Gottlieb.

Every other Friday, a new batch of photos from the William P. Gottlieb collection  is uploaded to Flickr. This week’s selection includes iconic photos of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, and  portraits of jazz greats such as Errol Garner, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton. But in addition to the well-known names are intriguing  portraits of  lesser- known artists such as guitarist Brick Fleagle, who wrote arrangements for Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington’s bands, and bassist Vivien Garry, one of the rare women to lead her own group in the Golden Age of Jazz.  We encourage reader comments on  Flickr, and hope that those made curious by the Flickr  set will peruse the vast Gottlieb holdings in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia.

On a historical note, explorer John Smith assumed the presidency of the Jamestown settlement on this date in 1608.  Smith would later relate that, upon being captured by the Algonquin tribe and brought before their Chief Powhatan, the chief’s daughter Pocahontas prevented his execution. This Native American princess has inspired musicians for centuries, and continues to be part of popular culture today, from Neil Young’s wistful ballad about “Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me,” to Disney’s highly successful animated feature. Remember her today with ”Pocahontas,” one of the Elliott Carter manuscripts in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia, and read more about John Smith in Today in History.

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