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The Jazz: The Team and the Times in New Orleans

Thirty years ago, in October, 1974, the National Basketball Association came to New Orleans. The team, known as the "Jazz," brought a new brand of sports excitement to a city eager to embrace the team and the sport.

On October 9, 2004, the Ogden Museum unveiled the exhibition "The Jazz: The team and the Times in New Orleans." The display takes a look back at those early years in the team's history, when after their first year of play in the city's Municipal Auditorium, they moved into the newly-constructed Louisiana Superdome.

The heart of the exhibit is one of the team's most popular and colorful players - "Pistol Pete" Maravich, a native of North Carolina who played college basketball at Louisiana State University, then joining the pros. His years in New Orleans were unforgettable and dramatic, as he brought his own unique spark and brand of basketball - along with his trademark socks - to the court. Unfortunately, Maravich died at an early age, years after his playing days were over, but too early for a man who lived such a large life.

The exhibition includes a collection a pair of those socks, as well as a framed Maravich jersey, on loan to the Museum by his wife. Memorabilia from the team's years in New Orleans on display includes a pair of basketball shoes once worn by forward Aaron James, a game ball signed by the team, a ball bearing Pistol Pete's autograph, team photos on loan from the Utah Jazz, photographs from local photographer Tim Alexander, and an original poster bearing the team's early marketing slogan, "Jazzmatazz."

Accompanying the exhibition is a segment of a new documentary "The Night of Pistol Pete: The 30th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz" produced by Mendelson Entertainment Group LLC. Barry Mendelson was an Executive Vice President for the New Orleans Jazz.

The exhibition is a collaborative project between The Ogden Museum and Mendelson Entertainment Group LLC. It will remain on display through December, 2004.