“David Spielman does a superb and important job of reminding us that these talented musicians are in the end people too—People with the same hopes, fears, dreams, and nightmares that we all have.”
—James Carville and Mary Matalin, political consultants and New Orleans residents
There is no dispute that New Orleans is a city defined by its musicians. These revealing portraits of New Orleans’ performers provide a provocative and intimate glimpse into the musical pulse of the city. They are captured in locations of their own choosing, places that define and inspire them as individuals. Often as elusive as smoke, once captured their images are both haunting and familiar. David G. Spielman followed these talented artists through neighborhoods, backstreets, and bars, using little more than a Leica camera. Printed as duotones, the emotional images speak without shouting. Fred Lyon listened to the performers and engaged them in conversation, drawing meaning and understanding from their often complex tales of hardship, triumph, and family. Their stories allow the viewer to connect with each specific portrait and location. Ample space frames each image, allowing the pages to serve as a collector’s album that chronicles the vibrant soundtrack of New Orleans.
Among those captured in image and word are Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Sr., Jeremy Davenport, Fats Domino, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Dr. John, Ellis Marsalis, Frank Minyard, Charmaine Neville, Albinas Prizgintas, Katey Red, Paul Sanchez, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Uncle Lionel, and Johnny Vidacovich.