The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


The Wire Salon: An Audience With Val Wilmer

July 2017

Listen to photographer, author and black music historian Val Wilmer in conversation with Tony Herrington at London's Cafe Oto on July 2017

After a four year hiatus, The Wire Salon returned to Cafe Oto on 16 July for a talk with photographer, author and black music historian Val Wilmer.

A familiar name to regular readers of The Wire (she has been a contributor to the magazine since issue one), Val has been reporting on black music and the musicians who make it in the US and the UK since the early 1960s – the list of musicians she has interviewed and photographed over the years reads like a roll call of the most influential figures in jazz, blues and R&B: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Howling Wolf, Aretha Franklin, Fela Kuti and many more.

For this edition of The Wire Salon, Val selected a number of photos from her personal archive as entry points to discuss her long and remarkable life in music, photography, politics and beyond. The talk was hosted by Tony Herrington.

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