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Herman Leonard's Pillars of Jazz at the 1st Street Federal Courthouse

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Legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard shot virtually every giant of jazz from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis.  His haunting smoke-filled iconic portraits documented the birth of bebop.  “He was a master of jazz, except his instrument was a camera,” says K. Heath Pinson, author of the Jazz Image.  “His photographs are probably the single best visual representation of what jazz sounds like.”

Join us Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. for a celebration of art, culture, and music at the 1st Street Federal Courthouse.  The United States District Court is sponsoring a reception and an exhibition of Herman Leonard’s jazz portraits from the 40s and 50s.  Musical guests include The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA, the Singers in Law, and rising jazz vocalist Tiffany Austin.  The reception will take place in the courtyard of the new state-of-the-art federal courthouse.  KJAZZ’s Bubba Jackson, is stepping in for the late Tommy Hawkins, and will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.  There is no charge to attend the reception.

In addition to stellar performances, guests can look forward to more than forty of Leonard’s postwar photographs of jazz legends such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones, Thelonious Monk, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn and Dinah Washington, and others.  It's also an open house for the new federal courthouse.  The exhibition will run through the end of the year.

Leonard's images can be viewed at

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