Caffe Lena


Joe Alper's Caffè Lena Photographs (1960-1968)
Joe Alper (b. 1925, d. 1968) is responsible for widely recognized and historic jazz, folk and blues performance photography. A self-taught freelance photographer, his work includes portraits and candid shots of the folk revival and civil rights era, nature and architecture. His entire portfolio (1958 - 1968) of approximately 80,000 negatives, is in the process of being digitized. Throughout the 1960s his photos were featured on major record company albums and music magazines. Demand for his pictures continues today, with interest from the Library of Congress, the Alan Lomax Archives, and Director Martin Scorcese. Joe and his wife, Jackie Gibson Alper played a key role in supporting Lena Spencer and her Caffè, often housing musicians at their nearby home. Known for thoughtfully clicking his 35mm Minolta camera in time to the music, Joe's candid black and white images used only available light and reveal his reverence for artists, their craft, and their trust in his artistry. The photos from this gallery represent a small selection of Joe's Caffè Lena images and we hope to post more as soon as possible. Photographs by Joe Alper courtesy of the Alper Family. All rights in and to the Photographs are reserved to the Joe Alper Photo Collection LLC and may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the Joe Alper Photo Collection LLC.