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Jazz Fest Poster 2014
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Jazz Fest Poster 2014


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Aural History:
Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

By Terrance Osborne

Traditional New Orleans jazz is over a hundred years young. It could only have developed in the jubilant melting pot that distinguishes the Crescent City. But half way through its journey to now, it suffered a midlife crisis. People stopped listening. Its musicians sat idle. Rock and roll took most young ears by 1960, except a pair belonging to a jazz tubist from Pottsville, PA – Allan Jaffe. He moved to New Orleans with his wife, Sandra, to open Preservation Hall in a circa 1817 French Quarter structure at 726 St. Peter in 1961. This venue for jazz pioneers reminded the world that this organized yet extemporaneous mélange was the American sound track. The Jaffes’ gift did more than preserve New Orleans jazz: It reinvigorated it, ultimately creating a self-renewing trans-generational hand-off to new masters and devotees that continues today.

In 1963, Jaffe organized the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as a touring group to bring this joyous noise to the world. By 1967, the Band had seduced the beast that nearly devoured New Orleans jazz, triumphantly playing alongside The Grateful Dead, Santana, and Steppenwolf at a Bill Graham concert in San Francisco. Tours grew to encompass global festivals and collaborations, culminating in 2012’s 50th anniversary performance in Carnegie Hall. A 50-year old band will have some personnel changes over the years but this band probably sets the record at 46 members and counting. And in a city of legacies, none is more poignant than that the tuba chair has been passed to Allan and Sandra’s son, Ben Jaffe, who also mans the upright bass in the Band’s current eight-man lineup. Thirty-one albums and one National Medal of Arts later, the Band and the Hall prove what's old is new & what's new is old.

Preservation Hall was part of the City’s mosaic for fifteen years before Terrance Osborne first opened his eyes on New Orleans’ centuries-old pictographic landscape. Paralleling what the PHJB did with traditional music, Osborne reinvigorated classic painting with a compellingly fresh American figurative approach reminiscent of the advances crafted by Thomas Hart Benton – albeit set in America’s most charismatic urban landscape. Osborne’s striking use of complementary colors burnishes the humid city’s nocturnal patina and illuminates this work in particular.

This, Osborne’s fourth poster for art4now (Congo Square 2007 & 2010; Jazz Fest 2012), shows his continuing evolution as an artist, leveraging his vigorous style to reveal his subject’s depth. His shrewd use of a trump l’oeil sleight to preserve the buildings’ orthogonal geometry and maintain the Band’s vertical plane is masterful. His allegory of the band emerging from its historic home binds the two and alludes to its going on tour as if a marching band, a heritage it shares but does not embody. From the smallest details, such as including the house cat, to his placing Ben Jaffe, Allan Jaffe’s son who ascended to his father’s tuba position, overseeing the band’s arc – a curve that pulls the viewer deep into the Hall – Osborne delivers history with knowing grace.

ReMarque:

C-Marque:

This Forty-Fifth Anniversary Jazz Fest poster is the apotheosis of the poster-maker’s art: A spectacular realization of a glorious original artwork by a still-youthful master portraying a musical group and historical venue that connect the City to its deepest cultural roots. This limited edition silk-screened print is a must-have for collectors of the series and for any fan of the music and art of these stars and the city that inspires them.

Editions:

10,000 Numbered prints on archival paper, 16” x 33”, $69
2,500 Artist-signed & numbered prints on 100% rag paper, 18” x 35”, $239
750 Artist signed and pencil remarqued, signed by each Band member & numbered Remarque prints on 100% rag paper, 20” x 39”, $595
350 Artist-overpainted and signed, signed by each Band member & numbered C-Marque canvas screen prints, suitable for stretching, 21” x 38”, $895

Poster and specifications may vary slightly.

Image ™ ©2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, Inc.
Used by permission. Text ©2014 ProCreations Publishing Company.

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