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Remembering Photographer Syndey Byrd

Syndey Byrd, one of Louisiana’s most esteemed photographers and a frequent contributor to Louisiana Cultural Vistas, died on October 1 at the age of 71. From the revelry of Mardi Gras and the pantheon of New Orleans’ music legends to the kitchens of famous restaurants and the time-honored rituals of jazz funerals and second line parades, Byrd became a dedicated documentarian at virtually all of south Louisiana’s celebrated events and locales, and in 2010 received the Michael P. Smith Photographer of the Year Award. from the LEH  Six months ago, a retrospective of her photographs of Louisiana musicians were exhibited at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, but the honored photographer was unable to attend the tribute. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012, Byrd spent the final years of her life in an assisted-living facility, unable to recall the memories associated with an estimated 50,000 images that encompass her life’s work. LEH videographer Chris Robért captured the installation of the Jazz Fest exhibition and recorded tributes from Byrd’s friends and colleagues. We invite you to watch it here at