Jean Bach

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Jean Bach (September 27, 1918 – May 27, 2013) was an American documentary film director, radio producer and jazz aficionado. Bach directed the 1994 documentary, A Great Day in Harlem, based on a 1958 photograph of the same name. [1]

Bach was born Jean Enzinger in Chicago in September 27, 1918, and raised in Milwaukee.[1] She made fredquent trips to Harlem and the Apollo Theater as a student at Vassar College.[1] She became a fixture in New York's jazz scene for the rest of her life.[1]

The black-and-white photograph which formed the basis of A Great Day in Harlem is a portrait of fifty-seven prominent jazz musicians who were photographed in front of a brownstone at 17 East 126th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of upper Manhattan. Bach learned that jazz bassist Milt Hinton had a home movie from the day of photo shoot in 1958.[1] She acquired Minton's home movie and used it or archival footage for her own film, A Great Day in Harlem, an hour-long documentary released in 1994.[1] Her film won the top award from the Chicago International Film Festival and earned an Academy Award for Documentary Feature nomination in 1995.[1][2]

Jean Bach died at her home in Manhattan on May 27, 2013, at the age of 94.[1] Her husband, Bob Bach, a production coordinator on What's My Line?, whom she married in 1948, died in 1985.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Martin, Douglas (2013-05-28). "Jean Bach, Jazz Documentarian and Fan, Dies at 94". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  2. ^ "NY Times: A Great Day in Harlem". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-20.