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New Orleans
New Orleans Super Bowl
posted:

With the SuperBowl returning this weekend to New Orleans, it seems like a good time to bring a project out from the archives. In Spring of 2001, my friend Brad Jansen was art director at the NFL, he called to ask if I’d be interested in designing the official poster for the 2002 Super Bowl to be played in The Crescent City. It was an intimidating assignment. There’s a long history of illustrated Super Bowl posters dating back to the first game in 1967 and a lot of great illustrators had their shot at it. Even though the formula was the same every year – The Vince Lombardy Trophy surrounded by visual elements of the host city and no football players, there were some wonderful posters produced by illustrators that I’d always admired. The art gets used on program covers, tickets, and lots of souvenir items and becomes a part of NFL history.
Gary Kelley, Dennis Ziemienski, Charlie White III

New Orleans has no shortage of visual imagery and Brad and I decided on a collage of architecture that kind shows a view from the French Quarter in the foreground up to the Superdome at the top with, of course, the Lombardi Trophy in the center. We needed an image of a jazz musician and I included my friend, the long-time Saints fan, Wynton Marsalis. The poster was approved without any big revisions and I looked forward to seeing it printed on all its applications.
 
Then, 9-11. All bets were off for a few weeks and football didn’t seem too important.The NFL cancelled some games, adjusted the playoff schedule and decided to scrap the official logo and poster for a patriotic theme. Brad asked me to send him some ideas for a new poster, the new brief was Red-White-and-Blue, Football Players as Heroes, Eagles, Flags, and The Vince Lombardi Trophy.



The sketches I sent all were rejected, and the new poster was a retouched photo, an image of the trophy with an American flag reflected in it.

The next year the Super Bowl was played in San Diego and Brad, being the mensch that he is, knew I was disappointed with the outcome from XXVI and asked me to design the poster for XXVII. We came up with a vintage travel poster vibe showing the Southern California coastline.

There have been a lot of changes at the NFL since 2002 and it seems to me that they have just stopped trying to design memorable posters.
Program covers from the last three Super Bowls.

New Orleans Super Bowl
posted:

With the SuperBowl returning this weekend to New Orleans, it seems like a good time to bring a project out from the archives. In Spring of 2001, my friend Brad Jansen was art director at the NFL, he called to ask if I’d be interested in designing the official poster for the 2002 Super Bowl to be played in The Crescent City. It was an intimidating assignment. There’s a long history of illustrated Super Bowl posters dating back to the first game in 1967 and a lot of great illustrators had their shot at it. Even though the formula was the same every year – The Vince Lombardy Trophy surrounded by visual elements of the host city and no football players, there were some wonderful posters produced by illustrators that I’d always admired. The art gets used on program covers, tickets, and lots of souvenir items and becomes a part of NFL history.
Gary Kelley, Dennis Ziemienski, Charlie White III

New Orleans has no shortage of visual imagery and Brad and I decided on a collage of architecture that kind shows a view from the French Quarter in the foreground up to the Superdome at the top with, of course, the Lombardi Trophy in the center. We needed an image of a jazz musician and I included my friend, the long-time Saints fan, Wynton Marsalis. The poster was approved without any big revisions and I looked forward to seeing it printed on all its applications.
 
Then, 9-11. All bets were off for a few weeks and football didn’t seem too important.The NFL cancelled some games, adjusted the playoff schedule and decided to scrap the official logo and poster for a patriotic theme. Brad asked me to send him some ideas for a new poster, the new brief was Red-White-and-Blue, Football Players as Heroes, Eagles, Flags, and The Vince Lombardi Trophy.



The sketches I sent all were rejected, and the new poster was a retouched photo, an image of the trophy with an American flag reflected in it.

The next year the Super Bowl was played in San Diego and Brad, being the mensch that he is, knew I was disappointed with the outcome from XXVI and asked me to design the poster for XXVII. We came up with a vintage travel poster vibe showing the Southern California coastline.

There have been a lot of changes at the NFL since 2002 and it seems to me that they have just stopped trying to design memorable posters.
Program covers from the last three Super Bowls.

New Orleans Super Bowl
posted:

With the SuperBowl returning this weekend to New Orleans, it seems like a good time to bring a project out from the archives. In Spring of 2001, my friend Brad Jansen was art director at the NFL, he called to ask if I’d be interested in designing the official poster for the 2002 Super Bowl to be played in The Crescent City. It was an intimidating assignment. There’s a long history of illustrated Super Bowl posters dating back to the first game in 1967 and a lot of great illustrators had their shot at it. Even though the formula was the same every year – The Vince Lombardy Trophy surrounded by visual elements of the host city and no football players, there were some wonderful posters produced by illustrators that I’d always admired. The art gets used on program covers, tickets, and lots of souvenir items and becomes a part of NFL history.
Gary Kelley, Dennis Ziemienski, Charlie White III

New Orleans has no shortage of visual imagery and Brad and I decided on a collage of architecture that kind shows a view from the French Quarter in the foreground up to the Superdome at the top with, of course, the Lombardi Trophy in the center. We needed an image of a jazz musician and I included my friend, the long-time Saints fan, Wynton Marsalis. The poster was approved without any big revisions and I looked forward to seeing it printed on all its applications.
 
Then, 9-11. All bets were off for a few weeks and football didn’t seem too important.The NFL cancelled some games, adjusted the playoff schedule and decided to scrap the official logo and poster for a patriotic theme. Brad asked me to send him some ideas for a new poster, the new brief was Red-White-and-Blue, Football Players as Heroes, Eagles, Flags, and The Vince Lombardi Trophy.



The sketches I sent all were rejected, and the new poster was a retouched photo, an image of the trophy with an American flag reflected in it.

The next year the Super Bowl was played in San Diego and Brad, being the mensch that he is, knew I was disappointed with the outcome from XXVI and asked me to design the poster for XXVII. We came up with a vintage travel poster vibe showing the Southern California coastline.

There have been a lot of changes at the NFL since 2002 and it seems to me that they have just stopped trying to design memorable posters.
Program covers from the last three Super Bowls.

New Orleans Super Bowl
posted:

With the SuperBowl returning this weekend to New Orleans, it seems like a good time to bring a project out from the archives. In Spring of 2001, my friend Brad Jansen was art director at the NFL, he called to ask if I’d be interested in designing the official poster for the 2002 Super Bowl to be played in The Crescent City. It was an intimidating assignment. There’s a long history of illustrated Super Bowl posters dating back to the first game in 1967 and a lot of great illustrators had their shot at it. Even though the formula was the same every year – The Vince Lombardy Trophy surrounded by visual elements of the host city and no football players, there were some wonderful posters produced by illustrators that I’d always admired. The art gets used on program covers, tickets, and lots of souvenir items and becomes a part of NFL history.
Gary Kelley, Dennis Ziemienski, Charlie White III

New Orleans has no shortage of visual imagery and Brad and I decided on a collage of architecture that kind shows a view from the French Quarter in the foreground up to the Superdome at the top with, of course, the Lombardi Trophy in the center. We needed an image of a jazz musician and I included my friend, the long-time Saints fan, Wynton Marsalis. The poster was approved without any big revisions and I looked forward to seeing it printed on all its applications.
 
Then, 9-11. All bets were off for a few weeks and football didn’t seem too important.The NFL cancelled some games, adjusted the playoff schedule and decided to scrap the official logo and poster for a patriotic theme. Brad asked me to send him some ideas for a new poster, the new brief was Red-White-and-Blue, Football Players as Heroes, Eagles, Flags, and The Vince Lombardi Trophy.



The sketches I sent all were rejected, and the new poster was a retouched photo, an image of the trophy with an American flag reflected in it.

The next year the Super Bowl was played in San Diego and Brad, being the mensch that he is, knew I was disappointed with the outcome from XXVI and asked me to design the poster for XXVII. We came up with a vintage travel poster vibe showing the Southern California coastline.

There have been a lot of changes at the NFL since 2002 and it seems to me that they have just stopped trying to design memorable posters.
Program covers from the last three Super Bowls.

New Orleans Super Bowl
posted:

With the SuperBowl returning this weekend to New Orleans, it seems like a good time to bring a project out from the archives. In Spring of 2001, my friend Brad Jansen was art director at the NFL, he called to ask if I’d be interested in designing the official poster for the 2002 Super Bowl to be played in The Crescent City. It was an intimidating assignment. There’s a long history of illustrated Super Bowl posters dating back to the first game in 1967 and a lot of great illustrators had their shot at it. Even though the formula was the same every year – The Vince Lombardy Trophy surrounded by visual elements of the host city and no football players, there were some wonderful posters produced by illustrators that I’d always admired. The art gets used on program covers, tickets, and lots of souvenir items and becomes a part of NFL history.
Gary Kelley, Dennis Ziemienski, Charlie White III

New Orleans has no shortage of visual imagery and Brad and I decided on a collage of architecture that kind shows a view from the French Quarter in the foreground up to the Superdome at the top with, of course, the Lombardi Trophy in the center. We needed an image of a jazz musician and I included my friend, the long-time Saints fan, Wynton Marsalis. The poster was approved without any big revisions and I looked forward to seeing it printed on all its applications.
 
Then, 9-11. All bets were off for a few weeks and football didn’t seem too important.The NFL cancelled some games, adjusted the playoff schedule and decided to scrap the official logo and poster for a patriotic theme. Brad asked me to send him some ideas for a new poster, the new brief was Red-White-and-Blue, Football Players as Heroes, Eagles, Flags, and The Vince Lombardi Trophy.



The sketches I sent all were rejected, and the new poster was a retouched photo, an image of the trophy with an American flag reflected in it.

The next year the Super Bowl was played in San Diego and Brad, being the mensch that he is, knew I was disappointed with the outcome from XXVI and asked me to design the poster for XXVII. We came up with a vintage travel poster vibe showing the Southern California coastline.

There have been a lot of changes at the NFL since 2002 and it seems to me that they have just stopped trying to design memorable posters.
Program covers from the last three Super Bowls.

Treme in The New Yorker
posted:

HBO’s Treme is my favorite show, an hour of TV that feels like a visit to New Orleans each Sunday night. There’s not a lot of explanation, you’re just dropped off in some very authentic Crescent City settings and you have to figure stuff out as it happens. There’s language that you only hear in New Orleans, many local musicians play themselves, and the excellent cast just blends right in. Fact and fiction becomes the same thing, the way that reality and legend always blends for me during an actual visit to The City That Care Forgot.
So, when Chris Curry at The New Yorker called to see if I’d do a piece to accompany Emily Nussbaum’s review of Treme’s Season 3, I said yes right away. After one false start and a change in the final printed size we ended up with a piece that shows some of the cast outside LaDonna’s bar. There are skyscrapers in the background to refer to the idea that the recovery in New Orleans is not reaching every neighborhood.
The false start. When she got this Chris asked if I had any other ideas. "Sure, of course, I'll send something else tomorrow."

Two color options

During my research I found this very rare Antoine Batiste LP in the used bin upstairs at The Louisiana Music Factory.

Wynton Marsalis 50th Birthday
posted:

It doesn’t happen every day that you meet one of your heroes. When that meeting turns into a friendship and then a collaboration, you know you’ve been blessed.
 
Wynton  and I met almost twenty years ago, for a poster project that we both signed. Since then I designed a poster for The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that depicted him in his Crescent City hometown, we’ve worked together on two books, and I spent a week out on the road with him and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra making sketchbook drawings.
 
Wynton has won a Pulitzer, nine Grammys and numerous other citations and honors, he has been an inspiration to many, many musicians and people who are making their way in the world as artists. Whenever we meet, he always acknowledges the accomplishment of survival with the words “So, we’re still out here.”
 
I’ve admired so much about him, the way he leads fifteen of the greatest jazz musicians of any era in the JALC Orchestra, the way he sits with young musicians who bring their instruments to a concert hoping for advice from the maestro, and his thoughtful writing and lectures on the important  place that jazz music holds in our history and culture. I’ve seen him working on a symphony in a hotel room with no piano, and I’ve seen him stay late after a gig talking to fans until it’s just him and the guy locking the place up.
 
Tuesday is Wynton’s 50th birthday. There has been a week-long series of concerts at JALC’s Rose Theater featuring special guests and some serious swing. I wish I was there acknowledging the accomplishment.
Sketches for New Orleans Jazz & Hertiage Festival, 2002

Colored-pencil sketch for poster

Seventeen color silk-screen poster


Wynton at soundcheck in Atlanta



Here's a preview of our second book for Candlewick Press, our first book, Jazz ABZ is still in print, (turns out kids love books with Coleman Hawkins in them.) The new book is a picture book for young readers about sounds titled Squeak, Rumble, Whomp Whomp Whomp! We're trying to get it finished while we're still on this earth. It's scheduled for Fall 2012.
New Orleans 2011
posted:

I was recently in New Orleans and I spent part of an afternoon roaming around checking out the progress of the recovering city.  I was down there about ten months after Katrina and it seemed then like nothing was going well. You could feel the effects of the disaster in every part of town, and especially in the Lower 9th Ward, the neighborhood that took the hardest beating from the failed levees.
On this trip, I saw some signs of optimism in the face of adversity.  There’s new  homes being built  in the 9th Ward by Make It Right  and Common Ground and there’s some wonderful new houses sitting on the spots that I saw completely wiped out after Katrina.
 
Deslonde Street June 2006

Deslonde Street 2011

Common Ground 2006

Common Ground 2011

Lower 9th Ward 2011

The French Quarter is back at full strength. If you like loud Journey cover bands, this is the spot.

You pay your money, you take your chances.

I was reading a book about the jazz historian Bill Russell who took recording equipment into neighborhood clubs in the 1940s.


For me, every visit to New Orleans is too short and I always meet new people that make the city the most soulful in the country. If you want to see what’s going on, and how things are looking right now in the Crescent City, you should check out L. Kasimu Harris’ website.
Jazz Stamp in New Orleans
posted:

The USPS held a First Day of Issue ceremony for the Jazz Commemorative Stamp in New Orleans on Saturday. It was an honor to be asked to design this historic stamp to pay tribute to jazz music and a double honor to attend the ceremony in the Crescent City.
 
In attendance were Guy Cottrell, chief postal inspector, Nancy Marinovic. president of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Jeffery Taylor, manager of the Louisiana District Postal Service and Thurgood Marshall Jr.. vice-chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors. We were in the good hands of the Treme Brass Band, who played with the feeling that only bands from New Orleans posses.
 
Adding to the honor, the legendary New Orleans musician Deacon John, and the heart and soul of the HBO show Treme, Wendell Pierce came out and everyone involved signed posters and First Day Cancellations of the stamp.
 
Art Blakey said “Jazz washes away the dust of every day life” and maybe this stamp can wash away a bit of the dust in our everyday lives. They only printed 50 million stamps, so get down to your post office soon.



Some big-ass details for Sock and Taxali




Treme
posted:

I’m looking forward to Sunday’s premeire of “Treme,”the new series on HBO from David Simon and a  cast that includes John Goodman and the great Wendell Pierce.

We’re in good hands with Simon, the guy behind “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” The show takes place a few months after Katrina when the city of New Orleans was being actively ignored by the federal government. Things haven’t improved much on that front, but the soul of the Crescent City isn’t going to disappear.

I spent some time in New Orleans after Katrina, and made some sketches that I’ve shown here before, here’s a few more.

New Orleans
posted:
Summer White House 2005
I did this drawing for The Progressive in the days following Katrina as  the country watched  an entire city be lost.  New Orleans was under water and I was wishing it was Washington that was flooded.

Almost three years later,  we’re looking at presidential candidates and New Orleans seems to be the city that care forgot again. Much of the city still looks like the flood that followed the collapse of the levees happened a few weeks ago.  Entire neighborhoods are abandoned and the people who once lived there are scattered and still trying to put their lives back together. This is not the way America is supposed to treat its citizens. It remains the biggest failure of the Bush Administration, yet I don’t hear any of today’s candidates  seriously discussing how they would bring about change in Louisiana.
Tupelo Street
I was down in New Orleans the summer after Katrina and I rented a car, drove around the Ninth Ward, took some pictures and did some drawings in my sketchbook. I sent them to Brian Rea at the New York Times and he ran them on the Op-Ed page on the one year anniversary.

The devastation was impossible to understand without being there. Blocks and blocks of empty houses, upside down cars and broken trees lie in a neighborhood that once was full of life. People had lived on the same blocks as their parents and grandparents for generations in the  Lower Ninth Ward. 
The morning I was there it was silent, I didn’t even hear any birds.
I had WWOZ on in the car.  It was Sunday morning and the regular gospel show was playing on the radio as I drove around.
The street signs had a dark line about eight feet off the ground that marked the spot where the water sat for days. I read that the water was full of snakes that grouped together in knots and drifted about. Doors and other floating debris were covered with cockroaches. The water was mixed with garbage and sewage. I stood under the sign and thought about how long I would have lasted out here.
There was a do-it-yourself vibe to the little bit of cleanup and salvage going on when I was there. A few local groups were trying their best to lend each other a hand, Habitat for Humanity had a project going, building some new homes for musicians. But there was no evidence of any government projects anywhere. This was a total failure of leadership on all levels, and it continues today.
Dooky Chase's is a legendary restaurant and center for the African American community. Its history dates back to the era when blacks were not served in the restaurants in the South, and this was a spot where they could enjoy a meal. Celebrities,entertainers, and civil rights workers always found a warm place here. Mrs. Chase is 83 years old and one of the most beloved chefs in the city; each time I’ve been in her restaurant I feel a special blessing when she comes out from her kitchen to sit down and chat for a few minutes.

Across the street the housing projects remain boarded up and there is talk of
demolishing them for a mixed use development that will make  somebody rich at the expense of the families that used to live there.
New Orleans will rebuild itself, because the spirit and the soul of its people won’t let it die.The week I was there I joined a second line parade for a drummer who had just died. The tradition of funerals with music is a strong one here.  The idea is that you’re sad for your friend and the loss of his company,  but you’re happy to still be on the right side of the dirt and you should enjoy every day. The whole neighborhood joins the parade and everyone seems to be saying, "we know it’s a sad world, but let’s make the best of it."
Napoleon House 4pm
Little by little, the city is coming back. JazzFest is scheduled for a full seven days this spring, the French Quarter is pretty much up and running as it was. Brad Pitt’s project to rebuild homes in the Ninth Ward is off to a great start, musicians and artists are moving into Habitat’s Musician Village, Ellis Marsalis plays Snug Harbor most Fridays, and Harry Shearer continues his excellent coverage of events and disappointments in the Crescent City.
Whenever I visit, my first stop is Napoleon House for a cold Abita and a muffalata in the corner booth.
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