Legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard died on Aug. 14 in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old. Leonard had a special connection to the GRAMMY Foundation and shared many memorable experiences about his journey during his GRAMMY Living Histories interview in 2009. The GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Living Histories program preserves on videotape the life stories of key recording industry professionals and visionaries who helped create the history of recorded sound. This footage is utilized by the GRAMMY Foundation and its partner organizations to develop educational video programs that tell the unique stories of our musical history through the unfiltered voices of its makers. To date, the Foundation has completed nearly 200 interviews with artists, producers, executives and technology pioneers.
In 2008 the Herman Leonard Jazz Archive received a grant of $33,017 from our GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program to preserve, archive and organize Leonard's large, historically significant archive of 65,000 negatives. The negatives are being scanned, archived and will be made accessible to the public. On Feb. 4, 2009, Leonard's work was showcased in our annual Music Preservation Project GRAMMY Week event, Music In Focus, which celebrated the parallels in creative expression between music and photography and featured the work of renowned photographers Danny Clinch, Robert Knight and Leonard. Live performances from GRAMMY winning artists Daniel Lanois and Lucinda Williams, guitarists Tyler Bryant and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and GRAMMY nominee Sara Bareilles followed highlights from the photographers' respective collections. The performers played to a sold-out house of approximately 1,200 enthusiastic guests at the historical Wilshire Ebell Theatre.