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Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker

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Chelsea College of Art and Design in London pays host to an exhibition inspired by poet Langston Hughes' paean Jazzonia (1923) which celebrates the vitality of New York's Harlem and is an ode to African-American cultural history during the 'Jazz Age'.

A time marked by racial, sexual and musical revolution, the inter-war years saw a diaspora of black artists arriving in Europe, epitomised by Josephine Baker at the Folies Bergère in Paris.

By the late-1930s, London was the next destination for these artists.The exhibition charts a particularly fascinating period of jazz history where the London legacies of singers Adelaide Hall (pictured) and Elisabeth Welch, who both had been in Paris with 'La Baker' are reunited with jazz tap legends Chuck Green and Honi Coles.

Vestiges of their personal life stories and of their performances, a syncopation of the highs and lows of the 20th century set against a backdrop of the Modernist movement reverberate through a variety of archive materials and reminiscences.

Filmed footage, photographs, correspondence, posters, programmes and recordings all help evoke this era in a fascinating and detailed exhibition.There is still time to visit the exhibition which opened on 1 July and which runs until 1 August.

For more go to www.chelseaspace.org

http://www.jazzwisemagazine.com/component/content/article/51-2009/10884-art-college-hosts-jazzonia-and-the-harlem-diaspora-exhibition
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