• Louis Armstrong and Susanne Schapowalow

Susanne Schapowalow

This website is a tribute to Susanne Schapowalow, the only female jazz photographer in the fourties and the fifties of last century. Her intimate images of jazz stars like Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Eartha Kitt, Bud Powell, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Thelonious Monk and Billy Holiday – to name just a few – are unpublished but show the quality of a world class photographer.

The photos were taken at Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts, German jazz festivals, the NDR Jazz Workshops in Hamburg, on Quincy Jones’ 1960 European Tour and in various clubs, hotel rooms and lobbies in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Paris, Berlin and New York.

Susanne Schapowalow, born in 1922 in Berlin, started as a freelance photographer in 1946. Her main themes were new music, jazz and architecture. Later on she worked as a freelancer for magazines like Der Spiegel, Stern, Merian and Crystal.

In June 2022, just a few months after she reached the age of a 100 years, Susanne passed away in the nursing home in a town nearby her former hometown Bad Malente in the Northern part of Germany. Her daughter Natalja, who has een living close to her mother, is taking care of the rich archive.

Photo: Susanne Schapowalow and Louis Armstrong having fun – Hamburg, may 1959