Ted Williams

Ted Williams (1925-2009) first heard jazz on the radio as a youngster in the 1930s in Wichita, Kansas. The sounds of Earl Hines, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway broadcast from Chicago's legendary Grand Terrace Ballroom inspired him and in the late 1940s, Williams merged his love of music and photography and moved to Chicago where he captured unguarded photographic studies of some of the era's greatest jazz musicians.

His work appeared in major international publications including Time, Newsweek, Look, Playboy and Ebony. His coverage of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival landed him a spectacular 21-page layout in Down Beat magazine. Williams was active on the jazz scene from the late 1940s until the late 1970s. He photographed many of the greats in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong. Williams’ historic archive runs to more than 100,000 images and comprises perhaps the most intimate and complete collection of Jazz’s greatest musicians at work, rest and play.

Ted Williams Iconic News

Parker and Gillespie

Iconic Spotlight : Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

“In 1949, The Pershing Ballroom in Chicago was packed. The band had been playing for some time and Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker had not arrived. There was a little unrest among the fans out front – after all, it had been billed as ‘Charlie Parker with Dizzy Gillespie and his Big Band.’ After a rather anxious … Read the full article

Jazz By Ted Williams Competition!

London Jazz Festivals begins tomorrow and to celebrate the opening of another season of Jazz, IconicJazz.com are giving away a copy of ‘Jazz by Ted Williams’. Ted Williams (1925-2009) first heard jazz on the radio as a youngster in the 1930s in Wichita, Kansas. The sounds of Earl Hines, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway broadcast … Read the full article

Limited-Edition Luxury

This collection of some of jazz’s most seminal musicians photographed by legendary photographer Ted Williams is assembled here in a limited-edition luxury box. The set includes portraits of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Sarah Vaughan, Art Farmer & Benny Golson of the Jazztet, Thelonius Monk and a glorious … Read the full article

Ted Williams Press

Hearing Music in Photos of Jazz Giants

A good jazz photograph tells its story musically as much as visually. More than images of rock, classical or hip-hop musicians, jazz images, like those of Ted Williams, who studied saxophone and clarinet before picking up the camera after World War II, seem to capture the intangible essence of a thought being transformed into sound.

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