In 1948, following his passion for jazz, Herman Leonard (1923-2010) came to New York's Greenwich Village, where his career as a photographer began.He made his way into the swinging clubs of Broadway, 52nd Street, and Harlem. With the camera as his free ticket, he offered to shoot publicity stills of the jazz artists for admission. While shooting at The Royal Roost and Birdland, he photographed and developed friendships with some of the greats of jazz history, including Miles Davis, Charlie parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and many more. Many of his photos eventually ended up on the covers of jazz albums while working for producer Norman Granz, as well as in Downbeat and Metronome magazines.
Throughout his life, he continued to travel around the world and take iconic photographs of iconic figures.