If you have been driving south on Atlanta's Spring Street lately, you may have noticed some really cool black and white images of jazz greats Miles Davis, Jimmy Rushing and Nina Simone lined up on your right hand side. The vintage photos are part of The Breman Museum’s promotion of their newest exhibition, "A Jazz Memoir: Photography by Herb Snitzer."
According to the press release, Memoir was a collaborative effort between The Breman and The Lumiere and was due to open this past April to coincide with the Atlanta Jazz Festival. However, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped all of that and like most public spaces, the Breman closed its doors. The highly anticipated exhibition is available now for your viewing pleasure (virtually of course) and features a “360-degree tour” of the images on the Breman walls along with commentary from Snitzer himself.
“Jazz musicians have made a very important contribution to the United States. We must salute Pops, Duke, Sarah, Miles and others as major American artists, not jazz artists—-which they were—-but American artists,” said Snitzer during a 1990s interview about his photographs.
Breman's Executive Director Leslie Gordan is excited that the Atlanta community and the world-at-large will finally get a glimspe into the brilliance of Snitzer's work.
"Presenting Herb Snitzer's marvelous camera work aligns with The Breman's commitment to the art of photography. This exhibition is a great example of oustanding works by Jewish documentary photographers. In late 2019 and early 2020, we featured the highly popular Henri Dauman: Looking Up, an overview of the French-born Holocaust survivor's photographs that acknowledged him as one of the preeminent photojournalists of the twentieth century. We are proud to host the current exhibition, A Jazz Memoir, and thrilled to be sharing Snitzer's iconic images with a broad public."
"A Jazz Memoir" focuses on the titans of the music genre from 1957-1964. The photos were originally taken for Metronome, the primary magazine devoted to jazz. Snitzer was the photography editor and associate editor at the time and developed a special bond with many of his subjects.
“Duke Ellington was the greatest American composer of the twentieth century, but you would never know it from the press," said Snitzer during a 1990s interview. "Duke was the best … Martin Luther King was the best … W.E.B Du Bois was the best, just as Sarah Vaughn’s voice was the best … I was expressing the injustice of it all.”
"A Jazz Memoir: Photography by Herb Snitzer" is available NOW on The Breman Museum website.
CLICK HERE to watch a special Zoom webinar feautring Herb Snitzer on October 1 at 7 p.m. as part of the Breman's Conversation Series.
Also, stick close to WCLK's UPFRONT Inside Atlanta's Entertainment Industry for an upcoming interview with Snitzer and exhibition curator---Tony Casadonte.