Ellis Marsalis and his son, pianist Jason Marsalis, pictured, are just two members of jazz society featured in “Kindred Cool: Portraits Inspired by the Jazz Friendship of Ralph Ellison, Romare Bearden and Albert Murray,” on display now through Sept. 14 at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Fort Greene.
Other bold-faced names included in the collection of black-and-white and color photography by Brownsville native Laylah Amatullah Barrayn are Ladybug Mecca, Randy Weston, Mos Def and DJ Spooky — pictured with other musicians, educators and painters.
“So often what we see is the final product — the jazz concert or the art exhibition — and [‘Kindred Cool’] shows what inspires that final product: the relationships, whether they be marital, friendship, mentor-mentee,” MoCADA Founder and Executive Director Laurie Cumbo told GO Brooklyn. “This exhibition really captures the inspiration behind the final product. Those combinations of those people create what we go to celebrate in art shows or performances. It’s a different way of looking at inspiration.”
In another shot, Mecca is pictured with pianist Brian Jackson and producer Ommas by the Williamsburg Bridge.
“I think Brooklyn has a rich jazz history,” Barrayn, 29, told GO Brooklyn. “Many of the masters have played in Brooklyn venues — which no longer exist — but left a legacy. I love places like Solomon’s Porch, Night of the Cookers, Jazz at 966 and Bushbaby, and so much more. My mission is to get jazz on the minds of everyone, so they can support the music and culture. Brooklyn is certainly a hotspot.”
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts hosts “Kindred Cool: Portraits Inspired by the Jazz Friendship of Ralph Ellison, Romare Bearden and Albert Murray” now through Sept. 14 at 80 Hanson Pl. at South Portland Avenue in Fort Greene. A closing reception will be held from 3 to 6 pm on Sept. 14. Exhibition hours are 9 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday, and weekends, from 11 am to 6 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call (718) 230-0492 or visit www.kindredcool.org.