New Orleans, La. New Orleans Award-winning Photographer Steven Forster has announced that he will unveil the premiere exhibition of his legends series of jazz and musical giants including Ella Fitzgerald at the Robert Bruno Gallery in New Orleans for the month of April 2005. The First Lady of Song Ella Fitzgerald will be among many giants including The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, The Genius Ray Charles, King of the Blues B.B. King, Miss Nancy Wilson, The Legendary "Q" Quincy Jones, Queen of Broadway Musicals Ethel Merman, New Orleans Legendary Pete Fountain, Dr. John, Mavis Staples, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan, KoKo Taylor, Buddy Guy and many more. April is jazz month in New Orleans, and the one-man exhibition is timed to welcome visitors to the 36th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival April 22 - May 1, 2005.
The new exhibition was inspired by Forster’s life long infatuation with the voice of Ella Fitzgerald. "She inspired me artistically and musically and has always been a part of my life," Forster says.
Forster photographed Fitzgerald on stage in 1979 at the 10th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and a few years later delivered a framed photograph to his idol during her stay at New Orleans’ Fairmont Hotel where she was performing at the Blue Room. He was greeted at her hotel suite door by a sleepy Fitzgerald, clad in a robe. Forster believed the negatives of his Fitzgerald shoot had been destroyed in a fire 25 years ago. In October, Forster was stunned to discover a set of some of the negatives in an envelope, although his favorite photograph, the one he’d presented to Fitzgerald, was not among them. His joy at discovering his tribute to his favorite jazz legend propelled him to action. Forster matched images of other musical greats he had photographed over the years, and his latest one-man show was born.
Forster’s photography work is included in the Historic New Orleans Collection, The New Orleans Museum of Art, The Contemporary Arts Center, the Mario Villa Gallery and the John Stinson Gallery. His work has been included in exhibitions of master photographers Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Clarence John Laughlin, and Weegee (Usher Arthur "Weegee" Felig). His clients have included Random House Books for the cover jacket photograph of Pulitzer Prize winning author Rick Bragg (#1 New York Times Best Seller, I Am A Soldier, Too; The Jessica Lynch Story). Forster is presently working on the cover jacket photograph of Ernest Gaines for his upcoming book From Mozart to Ledbelly.
Forster swept the Fashion Photography category for both published and non-published work at the annual Alpha Awards presented by the Fashion Group International (founded in 1930) of New Orleans in 2004. Forster shut out all other published and non-published fashion photographers from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and the Florida panhandle for work which included large scale digital photographs of jazz artists in New Orleans. Forster is now an eight-time Alpha Award winning photographer whose work is featured in his own award-winning newspaper page, the "Big Easy Page" in the Sunday editions of the Times-Picayune, Louisiana’s largest newspaper.
The exhibition is free and open to the public.
For more information contact Marie Lamb at the ROBERT BRUNO GALLERY in the Warehouse Arts District of New Orleans, 900 S. Peters St., New Orleans, La. 70130 (504) 679-0001. http://www.robertbrunogallery.com