In the early 1990's I spent time in the Lower East Side documenting what I saw as the last gasp of a dying culture. That culture has since migrated to upstate New York, areas of New Jersey, and Brooklyn. The geographic location in Manhattan has been absorbed by other ethnic groups and by real estate developers. Time marches on, but the history of this community gave rise to so many important people in American culture that it should not be forgotten.
Gene Lowinger became the first fiddler from the North to work on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe, the Father of Blue Grass music, as a Blue Grass Boy in the 1960's. He subsequently studied classical violin with the World famous pedagogue Raphael Bronstein, and worked as a freelance musician in the New York music industry. Later in life he pursued his love of photography as a freelance photojournalist. In 1992 he received a grant to travel to Russia to document post-Soviet Moscow. He has had published several books about music, and most recently the University of Illinois Press published his reminiscences and photographs of his first mentor, Bill Monroe, entitled 'I Hear A Voice Calling'.