Images of the Month Gallery
May 2001
Since 1970, the last weekend in April (and later the first weekend in May as well) has been reserved in New Orleans for the Louisiana Jazz and Heritage Festival, familiarly known as Jazz Fest. What began as a relatively small, locally patronized affair in Congo Square has grown into an international event at the New Orleans Fair Grounds, which annually brings in thousands upon thousands of visitors and contributes millions to the New Orleans economy. The draw is simple but quintessentially New Orleans -- fabulous food, cool libations, plenty of sunshine (in a good year!), and the best music to be heard anywhere. You'll find lots of folks who'll tell you that it's better than Mardi Gras any day.

This month, in honor of Jazz Fest, we offer a small selection of photographs taken primarily in the 1960s by Grauman Marks, a resident of Cincinatti, a lawyer by trade, a photographer by avocation, and a lover of New Orleans and its jazz. At the time when local jazz afficianados at Preservation Hall and jazz historians at the Tulane University's Jazz Archive were attempting to revive an interest in traditional New Orleans jazz, Grauman Marks was a frequent and enthusiastic visitor to the city. His photographs contributed to that effort to celebrate and preserve the Crescent City's jazz tradition.

The more than 275 prints in the Louisiana Division's Grauman Marks Collection capture in performance some of the original greats of jazz, all of whom have now passed onto that glorious bandstand in the heavens -- Louis Armstrong, Paul Barbarin, Louis Nelson, Johnny Wiggs, George Lewis, Willie Humphrey, Punch Miller, Paul Burke, Jim Robinson, Sweet Emma Barrett, Billie Pierce, and DeDe Pierce -- and many others not included here. With the exception of the Louis Armstrong photographs, they were taken at Preservation Hall (which holds an even larger collection of Marks' prints).

Enjoy the sights; seek out the sound.
Click on the images to see a larger version of each photograph.

And click HERE to revisit earlier Images of the Month Galleries.

Biographical information on all of these musicians is readily available in publications (notably in Al Rose and Edmond Souchon's New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album), online, and in libraries in New Orleans and around the world.

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4/29/2001 iw