Icon Photographer Jan Persson

Jan Persson

Danish photographer Jan Persson started photographing jazz musicians in 1962. The thriving Copenhagen jazz scene offered him opportunities to capture many prominent American musicians and he began to freelance for both local and international publications.

In the late ’60s and ’70s Jan also began to document the blossoming rock scene—photographing many young up-and-coming groups that grew into the most successful and influential bands of the era. His work has been chronicled in a series of books and international exhibitions and his images have been used on more than 1,000 album and CD covers, as well as documentary films on the history of both jazz and rock music.

In March 2004, Jan received the Ben Webster Prize, an annual award honoring both Danish and American jazz musicians as well as other professionals active in the promotion of jazz. He is the only photographer to have received the award across it’s 38-year history. Says Jan, in his humble and humorous way: “I am not a musician. But I do have an instrument—my old Leica M2.”

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