Reuben LEWIS   |   Jan SAVITT

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Item#: 38465 price:$100.00

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(SAVITT, Jan) LEWIS, Reuben. Large photograph. Chicago: circa 1942. Photographic print (10-1/2 by 13-1/2 inches), mounted, entire piece measures 16 by 20 inches. $100.

Large photograph of the Jan Savitt, leader of the Philadelphia-based Big Band the Tophatters.

The photograph, of Savitt leading with the snap of his fingers, is from the Hotel Sherman’s Panther Room in Chicago, and was taken by Reuben Lewis, probably the hotel’s photographer. The Hotel Sherman was an important location for big band and jazz music in Chicago from the twenties to the forties, one of the first places in “respectable” white Chicago to hear the extraordinary music coming out of places like New Orleans and Chicago’s own south side. A child prodigy, Savitt was invited by Stokowski to join the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 15. He formed the band the Tophatters in 1937, and was musically active up to his death by cerebral hemorrhage in 1948 at age 35.

Photograph fine; light dampstaining to edges of cardboard mount. A wonderful image, suitable for framing.

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