THE ICON: Allison Miner
THE LEGACY: When she moved to New Orleans in the late 1960s, Allison Miner harbored dreams of a singing career. That career would never materialize, but music would remain the driving force of her life. Recognized as a co-founder of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, she helped produce the first several editions of what has grown to become a world-class event and a highlight of New Orleans’ spring calendar. Between fests, she managed and nurtured the careers of such iconic local musicians as Professor Longhair, Kermit Ruffins and the Wild Magnolias. Miner would take a break from the festival in the mid-1980s, but she couldn’t stay away for long, returning to program its Music Heritage Stage, which features in-depth interviews with musicians — and which has since been named in her honor. All the while, one thing remained: her contagious passion for New Orleans music and the men and women who keep it alive.
THE ARTIST: Jeff Morgan
THE INSPIRATION: “There is more music per square foot in New Orleans than in any other city in the world, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s our life!” — Allison Miner, writing in the book “Jazz Fest Memories,” published posthumously in 1997