Photo exhibition by Yoshio & Keiko TOYAMA   

The Sound of New Orleans

Days in New Orleans 1968-73

Duration: Thursday , 6th July - Saturday  , 29th July 2023   

Printing Artist Noriko KANEKO (New Print)

Copyright (c) Yoshio and Keiko TOYAMA All Rights Reserved

I first encountered the music of Louis Armstrong when I was in high school. At the time, jazz movies such as "The Glenn Miller Story" and "The Five Copper Coins" were big hits, and I was captivated by the fun and intense jazz appeal of "Satchmo," who appeared on the screen as the "King of Jazz.

During my college years, Satchmo and other jazz giants from New Orleans to George Lewis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and others continued to visit Japan, and I hit it off with my wife, Keiko Toyama, whom I met at the college jazz club, and we even "invaded" the dressing rooms of these giants. They even "invaded" the dressing rooms of the giants. In December 1967, the couple, trumpet and banjo in hand, sailed to the U.S. on the immigrant ship Burajiru Maru to experience five years of jazz training in the "home of Satchmo and jazz," which they had longed to visit.

Jazz was born out of the "Jazz Funeral," a custom of blacks in New Orleans. The procession to the gravesite is a sad hymn, and when the burial is over, the people return home dancing with strong steps to the strong beat of the band. The two jazz musicians trained in New Orleans from 1968 to 1973, when the city was still in the pre-Civil Rights Movement era with remnants of racial discrimination, a dollar was 360 yen, and only 300,000 people traveled abroad annually. It was a time when a visit to New Orleans was considered a surprise, as if one had traveled into space.

While continuing our jazz warrior training, we continued to take photographs of the city of New Orleans in order to document this precious jazz paradise. The poor but happy-go-lucky black community that welcomed us, a young couple from Japan, with open arms, and the unique customs that gave birth to jazz. Black town churches, jazz parades, funerals, carefree children.... Satchmo always spoke of New Orleans as a "jazz heaven"... The New Orleans of Satchmo's childhood remained exactly as it was, and we were already hooked and kept pressing the shutter button.

Over the course of five years, we took more than 10,000 photos of "Satchmo's Neighbors. As poor musicians, we learned how to cut film costs by using 100-foot rolls of film in small batches to save money, and we even learned to develop film and enlarge photos. We waited until dark in our cheap apartment in New Orleans, where there were no darkrooms, and developed the film throughout the night. The smell of the developer and the acetic acid in the stop solution.... I still fondly remember the smell that filled the room.

We hope that the photographs in this exhibition will give you a sense of the hometown of jazz, where both black and white people really love each other despite discrimination, and even of "The Sound of New Orleans," the sound of this wonderful city.

In addition, two photographs of "our god," Satchmo, are also on display. In 1970, one year before Satchmo's death, the late Yuzo Sato, a famous photographer, visited the Armstrong residence in Queens, New York, with Hisamitsu Noguchi, a critic, on behalf of Swing Journal magazine, and took precious and wonderful photographs of Satchmo and his wife, Satchmo. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to his wife, Tomoko Sato, for her kind consent.

★The following books (photo books) are also available
New Orleans March
Louis Armstrong, Saint of New Orleans
Dedicated to Louis Armstrong on the 120th anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of his death

(株)冬青社  〒164-0011 東京都中野区中央5-18-20  tel.03-3380-7123  fax.03-3380-7121