Press release for immediate distribution

The Galerie Lounge TD marks its inauguration with an exhibition by famed American photographer Herman Leonard

14 photographs taken during the 30th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be presented in a world premiere during the exhibition

Montreal, Monday, October 19, 2009 - Now installed in its new permanent home on the second floor of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan, the Galerie Lounge TD proudly marks its official opening with a selection of works by Herman Leonard, one of the greatest photographers in jazz history, an exceptional artist whose camera immortalized the most illustrious jazz musicians of the past five decades. Open free of charge to the public from October 22, 2009 to February 7, 2010, the exhibition gathers some fifty silver-based photographs taken between 1948 and 2009, legendary portraits known the world over and now prized by collectors. Capturing the intensity of his musician subjects, Leonard’s work plunges the viewer into a remarkable intimacy with such legends as Parker, Gillespie, Holiday, Ellington, Armstrong, Fitzgerald, Sinatra and Davis, photographed in the smoky clubs of New York and Paris during the ’50s and ’60s.

14 photographs taken during the 30th Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented in a world premiere during the exhibition

Herman Leonard was the guest of honour at the 30th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal last summer, where the photographer’s camera captured Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Melody Gardot, Chris Botti, the Chucho Valdés Quintet, the Jazzing Flamenco troupe and the musicians of the Miles from India show. These photographs will be presented in a world premiere in the Galerie Lounge TD.

When people think of jazz, their mental picture is likely one of Herman’s.

- Quincy Jones

Herman Leonard

Born in Pennsylvania in 1923, Herman Leonard discovered his passion for photography at a young age. After studying at Ohio University, he moved to Ottawa where he apprenticed with renowned photographer and master portraitist Yousuf Karsh in 1947 and 1948 - working alongside him to photograph such notables as Albert Einstein and Clark Gable. In 1949, Leonard’s passion for jazz brought him to New York City, where he opened a studio in the heart of Greenwich Village. He photographed and developed friendships with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and many more. After a stint as Marlon Brando’s personal photographer, he headed to Paris and continued to photograph the jazz scene while working in advertising as well as for Playboy magazine. In the 1980s, he moved to the island of Ibiza, where he rediscovered his jazz negatives and published his first book. In 1991, he moved to New Orleans and immersed himself in the city’s prolific jazz scene. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Herman’s home and studio, and many of his photographs. Leonard moved to California, where he still lives.

Since mounting his first exhibition in London in 1988, Herman Leonard has presented his work around the world. His photographs now belong to prestigious museum collections, public and private. The historical importance and excellence of his work have brought him a number of awards and distinctions, including the Milt Hinton Award for Excellence in Jazz Photography from the Jazz Photographer’s Association in 1999, and the Excellence in Photography Award from the Jazz Journalists Association in 2000. Founded in 2007, the Herman Leonard Jazz Archive is devoted to preserving and archiving some 65,000 photographic negatives, most of them capturing the American jazz scene of the 1940s and 1950s, and was awarded the 2008 Grammy Foundation Grant for Archiving and Preservation.

The Galerie Lounge TD marks its inauguration

In its permanent residence on the second floor of the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan (a non-profit organization) - in a splendidly bright, airy and spacious location featuring a comfortable salon, perfect for contemplation or conversation - the Galerie Lounge TD offers a widow on original artworks from the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal collection, many of which have rarely been seen and admired by the greater public - works created by the likes of Jean-Paul Riopelle, Marcel Barbeau, Corno, Armand Vaillancourt, Francis X. Pavy, Zïlon, Lhasa de Sela, Miles Davis, Tony Bennett, Frédéric Back, Miyuki Tanobe and Yves Archambault, artist in residence and Festival posterist for over 20 years. Limited-edition numbered silkscreens taken from these works will also be on display, including works by Robert Lapalme and Alfred Pellan.

Along with its permanent collection, the Galerie Lounge TD will regularly present large-scale exhibitions featuring internationally renowned artists, painters or photographers. In summertime, the Galerie will relocate to a tent set up on the Festival site, right in the heart of the action.

Revenue from the Galerie offers crucial support to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, a non-profit corporation, helping to finance part of the free outdoor concert program.

Herman Leonard

The greatest photographer in jazz history

From October 22, 2009 to February 7, 2010

Galerie Lounge TD

Free admission


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