Professor Longhair Exhibit To Open August 2, 2018

Photograph by Michael P. Smith ©The Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans Jazz Museum, Professor Longhair at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1977, 2003.003.63.

Photograph by Michael P. Smith ©The Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans Jazz Museum, Professor Longhair at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1977, 2003.003.63.

The New Orleans Jazz Museum Presents

Me Got Fiyo: The Professor Longhair Centennial

New Exhibition at the New Orleans Jazz Museum Celebrating the life and legacy of piano player extraordinaire Professor Longhair To Debut August 2, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (July 12, 2018) — The New Orleans Jazz Museum will debut a new exhibition, Me Got Fiyo: The Professor Longhair Centennial. Launching on August 2, 2018, the exhibit will celebrate both the New Orleans Tricentennial and the Centennial of the birth of the most beloved and influential pianist in New Orleans history: Henry Roeland Byrd aka Professor Longhair. This exhibit will showcase all things Fess starting with his origins and development to his early hits such as “Tipitina,” “Mardi Gras In New Orleans,” and “Big Chief” to his 1970s comeback, his untimely death, and his continual presence in New Orleans since then.
The exhibition opens with a reception at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, Thursday, August 2, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is invited to this free opening, which will feature complimentary refreshments and a cash bar. The music of Professor Longhair will be performed throughout the evening by pianist Tom Worrell and percussionist Uganda Roberts. Roberts was a longtime collaborator and performed often with Professor Longhair.

Following the end of the reception, shuttles will be available to the Omni Royal Orleans where Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron will kick-off a fundraiser to benefit FrenchQuarter Festivals, Inc. with An Evening of Music by John Bouttè. More information online at

“We are excited to create this exhibit celebrating Professor Longhair and his contributions to the great musical and cultural legacy of New Orleans.” said Greg Lambousy, Director of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. “We are particularly thrilled to see one special artifact—the electric piano first used by Fess and then by another great New Orleans pianist, Eddie Bo. Celebrate with us one hundred years of Fess!”

Henry Roeland Byrd was imbued with the spirit of the Crescent City, but he came into the world on December 19, 1918, in Bogalusa, Louisiana, about seventy miles north of New Orleans. Professor Longhair’s influence on New Orleans music is incalculable. His rhythms and riffs built on the various people who have made New Orleans home. His lyrics portrayed unique characters and situations that seem to happen only in New Orleans. His vocal style sounded almost out of control and unhinged, like a party about to get really out of hand. His unique impact is such that he permanently changed the way music has been heard and played in the Crescent City, and all of us are immeasurably better for it. His centennial gives us all a great reason to listen to him anew and reassess his greatness, dancing wildly all the while.

The exhibit will be on display through July 1, 2019.

“Professor Longhair was the baddest. All pianists in New Orleans and beyond bow down to his feet, worship at his altar, smoke his peace pipe, eat his gumbo, and see his Zulu Queen on Rampart and Dumaine. There was simply no one else like him.” said David Kunian, Music Curator of the New Orleans Jazz Museum. “During his centennial and with this exhibit, we celebrate his uniqueness and influence. His wild piano stylings permanently ‘mess(ed) around’ New Orleans and American music forever, and we are all better for it and in his debt. As Cyril Neville has proclaimed, ‘More Professor Longhair.’”

Museum admission is $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for students with I.D., senior citizens (65+) and members of the military. School groups meeting required criteria and children 6 and under are admitted free. Located at 400 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116 with an additional entrance at 401 Barracks Street, the Museum resides at the intersection of Esplanade and Decatur Streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is a Louisiana State Museum. Founded in 1906, Louisiana State Museum is a system of National Historic Landmarks and architecturally significant structures housing a half-million artifacts that showcase the state’s history and culture. For more information, please call 504-568-2566 or visit

About The New Orleans Jazz Museum

The New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrates jazz in the city where it was born. Through dynamic interactive exhibits, multigenerational educational programming, research facilities and engaging musical performances, the music New Orleans made famous is explored in all its forms. Through partnerships with local, national and international educational institutions, the New Orleans Jazz Museum promotes the global understanding of jazz as one of the most innovative, historically pivotal musical art forms in world history. For more information on upcoming performances, visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NOLAJazzMuseum.

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Baylee Badawy                                        
Digital / Media Strategist        

Greg Lambousy

David Kunian
Music Curator

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