Guy Le Querec, Jazz from J to ZZ

by Xavier Encinas

Born in 1941 in Paris into a family from Brittany, Guy Le Querrec shot his first pictures of jazz musicians in London in the late 1950s, making his professional debut in 1967.


Le Querrec’s background in jazz has informed his photography. He sees everyday scenes as a musical score, played or activated by natural forces. Sun rays in a café could be a cry or a trumpet call; Spanish workers resting on the edge of a limestone quarry are musical notations in a solo piece.

All images © Guy Le Querrec/Magnum Photos.

"A photographer is an acrobat treading the high wire of chance, trying to capture shooting stars."

Cover: Miles Davis. “Paris Jazz Festival”, Salle Pleyel, Paris. November 3rd, 1969. Following image: Charles Mingus. “Chateauvallon Jazz Festival”, Marseille Airport. August 19th, 1976. Previous image: Sun Ra Arkestra. “Fête de l’Humanité”, La Courneuve. September 8th, 1973. This image: Nina Simone with her bassist Gene Perla.

This image: Miles Davis receiving the Golden Album award for his album “Tutu”, Hotel Concorde La Fayette, Paris. February 18th, 1988. Next image: Archie Sheep & Max Roach. Mutualité Concert, Paris. March 4th, 1977.

Herbie Hancock. During the shooting of the Bertrand Tavernier’s movie “Around Midnight”. August 28th, 1985.

This image: Chet Baker. Mutualité Concert Hall. December 1st, 1976. Next image: Miles Davis. “Jazz sur son 31” Festival, Toulouse. October 20th, 1987.

This image: John Coltrane. Bioko island. Malabo. March 13th. Next image: Sonny Rollins. Palais de la Mutualité, Paris. November 4th, 1965.


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