THE ICON: Deacon John Moore
THE LEGACY: It was 1957, and a high school kid named John Moore set out try to forge a career as a New Orleans guitarist. Deacon John, as he would become known, hasn’t stopped working since. A living New Orleans music legend, he has the rare of distinction of having performed at every single edition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and has played on hundreds of classic recordings, from Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is” and Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-in-Law” to Lee Dorsey’s “Working in the Coal Mine” and Chris Kenner’s “Land of a Thousand Dances.” In recent years, he has become known as much for his natty onstage attire — fedora, bowtie, suit — as for his ability to bring any party to life with his longtime band, the Ivories. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he never enjoyed the sort of hit record that would thrust him into the national spotlight, but he shrugs that off. There’s no time for regrets. There are gigs to be played, and for the man who has become known as one of New Orleans’ best-kept musical secrets, that’s good enough.
THE ARTIST: Jeff Morgan
THE INSPIRATION: “(Allen Toussaint) came along and recognized that I had a talent, and put me in the studio. And now I’ve got something that they can’t take away from me. I’m a part of the New Orleans history and music culture that came from that period. I can’t believe all the stuff that I played on as a guitar player.” — Deacon John Moore, in a 2015 interview with The Times-Picayune