Kennedy Heights Arts Center
Homage to a Sound
Jazz has always been a sustaining force in photojournalist Melvin Grier’s life—from his youth in the West End of Cincinnati, hearing snippets of the big band coming through the doors of the Cotton Club, to the Sunday afternoons spent in Babe Baker’s in Avondale. Homage to a Sound takes the viewer inside the wonderful world of improvisation that is Jazz. The exhibition includes more than fifty performance and behind-the-scenes images of musicians taken between 2006 and 2016 at renowned Cincinnati venues, as well as video interviews with some of the Queen City’s jazz greats. From dark jazz clubs to the summertime outdoor settings, Grier captures the essence of this original American art form.
Melvin Grier worked for the Cincinnati Post from 1974 to 2007, where on assignments he traveled to Cuba, El Salvador, Eritrea, Honduras, Kenya, Puerto Rico, Somalia, Vietnam, and the Virgin Islands. Grier has received ten photography awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, and earned accolades from the Associated Press Society of Ohio, The Press Club of Cleveland, Ohio News Photographer Association, and more. In 2003, he was inducted into the Society of Professional Journalists (Cincinnati Chapter) Hall of Fame. Grier was named the 2004 Robert A. Duncanson Artist in Residence at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati and his work has been exhibited in dozens of galleries.