For over three decades, award-winning Australian photojournalist Leon Morris has captured his passion for music by using his passion for photography. More than twenty years has seen Morris traveling to New Orleans for the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival, a celebration of music and culture that unites us all, dating all the way back to the early 70s thanks to appearances by great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and famed jazz pianist Duke Ellington who managed to accidentally join a brass band parade, thus creating the festival. Morris has covered the event for two decades but unfortunately, the devastation of one of the deadliest natural disasters in the US, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, had the photographer viewing his work in two separate phases: before and after.
In HOMAGE: New Orleans, Morris spotlights more than 300 of his images, over a span of twenty years, of some of the most influential jazz, soul, and blues musicians of our time, including Willie Foster, Marcia Ball, Etta James, Buddy Guy, and BB King, performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, accompanied by quotes and essays written by the artists themselves, describing the importance of music photography and its evolution. By combining words and photos, Morris presents a beautiful tribute to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, stressing that despite its dizzying destruction, the after is just as hopeful and full of love, unity, culture, music, and art as the before. HOMAGE is a photojournalistic journey into the rise of one of the most influential music festivals of all time and the event that changed its landscape forever.
View some of Leon Morris’ pictures from the book below and be the first in line to pre-order it: