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Herman Leonard

Herman Leonard was born in 1923 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and served as a military photographer in Burma during World War II. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Ohio University and began working with Yousef Karsh, a Canadian portraitist.

Settling in New York in 1949, Leonard began photographing musicians at various jazz clubs on Broadway and 52nd Streets, and in Harlem for such publications as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Like, Look, Playboy, and Time. He later moved to Paris to begin a fashion and advertising business. He also continued photographing jazz musicians. In 1988, Leonard presented his first exhibition, "Images of Jazz," in London. This show established his reputation as a leading photographer of jazz musicians and sparked further shows and publications.


Milestones of Jazz

1902--Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton claims to have "invented jazz" in this year.

1923--Fletcher Henderson forms an orchestra that becomes the first to gain wide fame by playing jazz. Members included Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins.

1930s--Tenor saxophonist Lester Young plays with one of the finest of all jazz orchestras, the Kansas City-based Count Basie band.

1934--Benny Goodman formed his first organized orchestra.

1940s--Beginning of the Modernist movement of jazz, or "bebop," as it was known. Its leaders included "Dizzy" Gillespie and Charlie Parker.

1943--Duke Ellington releases "Black, Brown and Beige," a musical history of African Americans.

1950s--Rise to prominence of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk.


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