Correspondence: The Stamp Of Jazz

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.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit


  1. says

    Nicely done, Mr. Kirchner. I was bugging the local post office for weeks, prodding folks to get the Jazz stamp in stock. So now that the stamps are available and I’ve bought a supply, the clerks (female) get a big laugh, every time I show up, asking me if I need more stamps yet. I should tell them that Jazz is “forever” now, stamped with approval by US, and the distaff sidewomen no longer dissed, thanks to a certain BK. Maybe they’ll google him instead?

  2. Dick McGarvin says

    Paul Rogers, the designer, says on his website that “2011 is the first year that all stamps will be “Forever” stamps, so the word “Forever” replaces the 44-cent number. From a design standpoint, I’ll miss the graphic element of a numeral in the designs…” Yes, but as a result, it reads ‘JAZZ Forever’ and I think that’s great.

  3. Dr. Mike Baughan says

    Proud to say my cousin, Bill Nelson,of Manteo, NC, drew an original set of classic jazz stamps that many are familiar with-Basie, Goodman, Ella, Dorseys, Miller:

    Peruse his incredible website, in my very humble, but gloating, opinion of family! Only wish I had one millionth of the man’s genetic talent! These stamps are an ongoing great plug for jazz I feel.