Jules Cahn
(1916-1995)

Jules Cahn was a native New Orleanian, a successful businessman, and an aficionado of traditional jazz and all the music associated with this great city. He also possessed a passion for photography. Beginning in the 1950s, Cahn started photographing at jazz funerals, shooting mostly black-and-white film using various still cameras and 16mm color film using a Bolex movie camera. Soon he began to shoot and film at concerts, second line parades, and anywhere musicians gathered. When Preservation Hall opened in 1961, Cahn was there, photographing recreationally and deepening his friendships with the musicians and the people associated with jazz in the city. He photographed the people, events, and performances associated with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival for 25 years, from 1970 to 1994. He died unexpectedly in March 1995. His family subsequently made gifts of his photographic work to The Historic New Orleans Collection to ensure its preservation and availability to the public.