Friedlander’s New Orleans Music Culture

The photographs collected in Lee Friedlander’s “Playing for the Benefit of the Band: New Orleans Music Culture,” many of which are currently on display at the Yale University Art Gallery, were taken between the years 1958 and 1982. Nathaniel Rich notes: ‘Friedlander’s most indelible images are his portraits of musicians. [Pictured is Emile Barnes, a jazz clarinetist.] Friedlander arrived in New Orleans at a high point in the jazz revivalist movement, when fans of jazz as it was originally played in New Orleans in the first two decades of the twentieth century (before the perceived corruptions of swing and bebop) descended on the city with tape recorders and notepads and cameras, hoping to catch some of the old magic and document it for posterity.’

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