Well this is cool. I took this photo on the way to Trader Joe’s yesterday. I was walking through Tompkins Square Park and saw this man playing away on his sax. I was super drawn to him – as I often am to photographing old people. Just look at him – his face told such a story to me… his eyes, so sad and expressive… the deep wrinkles in his forehead, his knobby fingers, his wooly beard. I figured he was just your average homeless guy who knows how to play a little sax. I gave him a dollar in exchange for a couple photos. When I was done, he wrote down his name for me – Giuseppi Logan – and told me to look him up online.
I just did that and boy… I found quite a story! Turns out, he was a very talented and important avant-garde jazz musician in the sixties here in New York. He was trained at the New England Conservatory of Music and he even recorded a few albums. It seems he was somewhat mentally ill and heavily into drugs and in the seventies, he totally disappeared for decades – everyone thought he was dead. He was rediscovered again playing around Tompkins Square park in 2008. Here is a youtube video of him playing last year:
Here is another link, which tells more of the sad story. I’m totally fascinated now.