First Jazz Fest poster artist Bruce Brice dies


(Bruce Brice)

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A man who has been part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival from the very beginning has died.

Bruce Brice was commissioned to paint the first ever poster for Jazz Fest in 1970. His colorful work often depicted scenes and celebrations of New Orleans.

WGNO stopped by the La Belle Galerie in the French Quarter to take a look at his work.

“You know he was just like a jazz trumpet player, hitting all the high notes, and when you looked at his work, you could hear the sounds of New Orleans,” artist Richard Thomas remembered.

A self-taught artists, and a self-made man, who mastered marketing his own work, Richard Thomas credits Bruce with paving the way for today's New Orleans artists.

"Whether it was creating the art, and taking it from art to business -- you know, he was the first to do that--he helped to define what New Orleans art should look like,” Thomas said.

Brice's work often adorned buildings throughout the city. Sadly most are now gone.

Bruce Brice's unique bird's-eye view of our city, and our culture and our colors will live on as a snapshot in vivid color.

Bruce Brice was 72 years old. Funeral arrangements have not been set at this time.


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