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A quest to bring homeless photographer's pictures of New York jazz to light

 Street Roots - USA 16 May 2019

Photographer Robert James Campbell died homeless, leaving behind a treasure trove of prints and negatives capturing a transitional era of jazz during the late 1950s and early 1960s in New York. They landed in the hands of Portland author Jessica Ferber. She tells Street Roots about her 13-year quest to preserve Campbell’s photographs and discover the man behind the camera, which she can finally reveal in her book Rebirth of the Cool: Discovering the Art of Robert James Campbell. (2421 Words) - By Brian R. Page

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The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Photo by Robert James Campbell; City of Burlington, Vt.Credit: Brian R. Page

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Chuck Berry performs at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island in the late 1950s. Photo by Robert James Campbell; City of Burlington, Vt.Credit: Brian R. Page

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Jessica Ferber, author of Rebirth of the Cool: Discovering the Art of Robert James Campbell.Credit: Brian R. Page

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Cover: “Rebirth of the Cool” by Jessica Ferber. From Rebirth of Cool by Jessica Ferber, published by powerHouse Books.Credit: Brian R. Page


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