Jazz historian, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator and short sleeper Bill Kirchner writes:
You’ve probably seen—or will see—the new “Jazz” U.S. postage stamp just issued. A year ago, I was a paid consultant on the design of it. The graphic artist’s original design included a trumpeter, saxophonist, pianist, and bassist—no women, no singer. I successfully lobbied for a female singer–my foremost contribution to American culture (smile).
This was the stamp being introduced in New Orleans on the day it was issued, March 25. The man in the light suit is Paul Rogers, who designed it.
On his website, Rogers wrote about the project.
Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and about a dozen others have been honored with stamps in the past, and in 2008 Michael Bartalos designed a wonderful Latin Jazz stamp, but there has never been a single stamp to pay tribute to America’s original art form, jazz. It’s always an honor to design a postage stamp, and because I love jazz and have great respect for the history of the music, this one was very special to me.
To read about and see the stages of Rogers’ creation of the design, including detail about how the singer became part of the scheme, go here.
The Treme Brass Band was part of the stamp’s unveiling ceremony, so why not let them end our story?
Now, I’m homesick. And I miss Ed Bradley.