Note on Art

Dublin Core


Note on Art


A note from LeRoy Neiman on a selection of artistic references, specifically jazz musicians and posthumous portraits.


This note from LeRoy Neiman provides a brief list of jazz musicians and “ill people” featured in the artist’s work, including Billy Holiday, Nat King Cole, and a deceased football coach. Although the record is abridged both with regards to subject matter as well as description of these subjects, it gives some insight into the events Neiman recorded via sketch and painting. The record itself in an excerpt from a larger piece on artistic reference.


LeRoy Neiman


LeRoy Neiman Foundation


LeRoy Neiman Foundation


c. 1990-2011


LeRoy Neiman


Property of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation; please consult the organization's archivist for further details.








LN_Notes_1772_01; LN_Notes_1772_02


New York (N.Y.) New York

Text Item Type Metadata


[8. JAZZ / Jazz at Gracey Mansion - White House. / Blacks - Pearl Baily, Ella Fizgerald, Dianna Ross, Lady Day. / Mulligan - story at Hammer / 8A. JAMES BROWN AT THE APOLLO / 1965? A black girl called Gina who had just been crowned Bunny of the year a few days before took me backstage to meet James Brown. No entertainer, barring Sammy Davis, was hotter at the time. He was so delighted to see a mixed couple in Harlem. Brother and sister. I sketched him as a package of energy ready to explode at the sound of musical note at his mirror with his range of tan cosmetics arrange in front of him. / 8B. LOUIS ARMSTRONG / I sketched Satchmo perfroming at C.B.S. in Chicago, in New York, Chez Paree in Chicago, a l'Olympia in Paris and at Indianapolis doing a gig at a party. He came to my exhibition at Hammer. Met my mother, bought a painting (1st time with a black man = My mother's comment after photo). After Louie purchased (One Mulligan is enough).] said Satchmo [/ 8C. DUKE ELLINGTON / Jazz royalty: Duke - King - Count (also Cannonball, Satchmo, Cab, Bird, Diz). I sketched Duke with Satchmo at a jazz session. They did not talk. Near end of Satchmo's life. They were very different people. Duke's Quote: "Life is the process of becoming more of what you already are". Painting of Duke for George Wein; Satchmo silkscreen, Jazz Festival Poster. / 8D. NAT' KING' COLE / In his full length robe at "chez Paris" in his dressing room in Chicago in 1955, with cigarette holder - listening to Cubs game on the radio, said: 'I feel elegant'. Drawing [Playboy], owned Arnold Morton. T.V. Set. / 8E. MAX ROACH & MILES DAVIS / Sketched Max in Chicago. We talked 35 years later. He looked the same. He was ageless as Billy Taylor was. Sammy was worn out at the end but looked the same. Bobby Short - .] /

[Miles fights fan at Garden. He punched P.R. guy out at Chicago Stadium during the Playboy Jazz Concert. I had seen a lot of people at this Stadium with Bob Satterfield, Sugar Roy Robinson, etc. so this was another knockout at the Stadium this time with Miles Davis. As he went around the Playboy Jazz Concert, he stuck his tongue out at people did not like. Also during this Concert, Duke Hazlitt - Sinatra's imitator - came down the Isle introduced by Vic Lownes as Frank and he brought the house down as he sang and no one could tell the difference. / We were discussion whose band was best, [Ellington's] or Basie's, so for the hell of it we went to Duke's dressing room (he had his silk stocking cap on) before getting into his tux and asked whose orchestra was the top of the Big Bands. / 8F. BILLY [HOLIDAY] / Poster of [Billy Holiday], also called "Lady Day". / 9. ILL PEOPLE / - Sketching woman dying in London. Sigies' Club (Sessler's). 1960 portrait on piano from photo. / - Football Player (Son of Dolphin Coach), died on field - college (memorial) Later Bob Kerstenboum talked to me about it. Painting / - Buffalo, N.Y. Great school hero died. Portrait (memorial). / - Karin 'Cookie' Kupcinet - murder L.A. / - Dead Coach Football dinner portrait from photo. Mother says, 'He looks laid out'. / - Daughter of Family. Hit and killed by car on 72d Street and Park Avenue. I am asked by family and do portrait from photograph. / - Bob Kerstenbaun played 15 years for Miami Dolphis, no. 67. He called me November 3, 1993 about Jackson Hospital fund raiser - son was killed and I did portrait.]

Original Format

Typewritten with permanent marker on paper.




LeRoy Neiman, “Note on Art,” LeRoy Neiman Foundation, accessed April 1, 2023,