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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eighty-five: On Tour – cruising the Mississippi from Memphis to the Gulf > Jazz, Louis Armstrong Park, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012
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Jazz, Louis Armstrong Park, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012

New Orleans honors not only the history of jazz music, but commemorates the contributions of the individual musicians that helped develop it as an art form. This statue, created by Kimberly Dummons, salutes the ragtime musician Buddy Bolden, who, at the turn of the last century, was the first to “rag the blues” for dancing, creating an early form of improvisational jazz in the process. All three of the figures in this statue represent Bolden, a tribute to his genius. I moved in on these figures to blend them into one – the very essence of ensemble music. Bolden, regarded as the “King of Jazz,” inspired an entire generation of New Orleans jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong, who as a youngster listened nightly to the silver magic of Buddy’s notes. A 30-acre park honoring Louis Armstrong now dominates the area just north of Rampart Street. Buddy Bolden’s statue is in the park’s “Roots of Music Sculpture Garden.” Armstrong’s own statue stands only a few yards away, likely still listening to Bolden play.

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Phil Douglis21-Jan-2013 18:52
Thanks much, Tom, for your comment. I spent more time on this composition that I usually do, because the sculpture is so complex. I photographed from many angles and distances, always staying aware of what I was trying to say about the subject. The statue itself is very unique, in that it depicts three figures as one, and all three represent the very same person. I wanted to unify three into one here, which best represented the nature of ensemble music. I think this final composition made that idea work for me.
Thomas Pappas21-Jan-2013 00:18
This is a great photo.

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