Hotter than July

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Announces Sizzling New Photography Exhibit and Series of Events

"Bruce Talamon captured the greatest musical artists this world has ever seen. Artists that would one day become the King of Pop or The Godfather of Soul. Singers and bands creating timeless Funk and R&B that would go on to inspire a new generation to create what we know now as hip hop. I think it must've been something else to experience all those acts live. I'm sure it was the competition that drove those artists to greatness. His photos feel like you could've, on any given night, witnessed Sly and The Family Stone, Parliament, or Chaka Khan tearing the roof off. Mic on, band tight and LIVE. The wild part is that Bruce was there for all of it and we get to see those beautiful moments because of him. Thank you Bruce." - Bruno Mars


Stop by the Museum as we reveal our new Hotter Than July photography exhibit, host an interview with Bruce W. Talamon, honor three touring Inductee acts with Fan Day activations, & more!

Summer is heating up at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as the Museum launches the brand-new photography exhibit, Hotter Than July: The Bruce W. Talamon R&B Photographs. The exhibition, opening on July 28th, highlights the work of photographer Bruce W. Talamon and features images of Inductees including the Isley Brothers, Sir Elton John, and Earth, Wind & Fire – all of whom will be performing in Cleveland on July 30th.

Hotter Than July: The Bruce W. Talamon R&B Photographs is an ethnographic study, a visual representation of Blackness and personal analysis of a culture during the golden age of Soul, R&B, and Funk (1972-1982). The exhibition title is a reference to Stevie Wonder’s 19th studio album. The photographs show pivotal moments from the culture- shifting television series Soul Train, and groundbreaking concerts including the 1972 Wattstax Music Festival and the 1977 P-Funk Earth Tour.  Bruce Talamon’s work provides a meaningful counterpoint to the voyeurism of those who have marginalized Black culture as his photographs share an insider’s view. From the smoke-filled clubs on the Crenshaw Strip in South Los Angeles, to the largest arenas around the world, Talamon was there, recording the frenzy and beauty of the music.

“This is a project about Soul, R&B, and Funk music as seen through the lens of a young African American photographer at the start of his career. It is a ten-year study, a visual record.  Evidence.  I consider myself a visual documentarian, a keeper of Black folks’ culture and, our music’s history.  I’ve always had this sensibility about documenting and storytelling, and when I figured out the power of a camera and its gift, a whole world opened up,” said Talamon.

Highlights of the Hotter Than July Weekend are listed below. For more details, visit

Hotter Than July Weekend Events

Exhibit Opening Featuring Gallery Talk and Book-Signing with Bruce Talamon

Thursday, July 28th 5:30p.m.

Kicking off the jam-packed weekend of events, the Rock Hall will host a special gallery talk with Talamon followed by a book-signing of Soul. R&B. Funk. Photographs 1972-1982. Copies of the book will be available for purchase in the Rock Hall store. This event is free with general admission. Head to the Museum early or stick around after the interview to catch performances by our Rock Hall Live Powered by PNC acts including Jo, Hip Hop Horray, and Free Black! With JT’s Electrik Blackout.

Cleveland Piano Day

Friday, July 29th 7p.m.

Join us for this mash up event of local rock performances and classical piano renditions of your favorite rock classics. This event is free and in partnership with Piano Cleveland and their PianoDays @ CLE series. 

Hotter Than July Fan Day and MUNA Concert

Saturday, July 30th 10a.m.

In celebration of the Inductee concerts taking place throughout the city, the Rock Hall will honor each of the three acts with special Fan Day activations. In addition to viewing their images in the new exhibit, fans can check out various Isley Brothers, Sir Elton John, and Earth, Wind & Fire artifacts on display including a drum case used on tour by the Isley Brothers, a top hat worn onstage by Elton John on his Spring 1971 tour, and capes worn onstage by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. Watch special “From the Vault” induction footage from each of their ceremonies enjoy a photo opportunity at the Long Live Rock art installation on the plaza, hear the artist’s songs played on rotation throughout the Museum and on the Rock Boxes located along East 9th Street, and play along to their songs in our Garage Takeover. Then, commemorate your visit with Inductee merchandise available for purchase in the store and catch a special Rock Hall Live performance by MUNA on the PNC Stage. Show tickets are available for $21.00 on

About Bruce W. Talamon:

Bruce W. Talamon (born 1949) has been a fixture in the film industry as a stills photographer for 47 years, after a prolific career capturing the royalty of soul, funk, R&B and jazz music in the 1970s. A contract photographer for Time magazine in the 1980s, his work has also appeared in People, Rolling Stone, Ebony, Vanity Fair, and NPR. He is the author of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer and Bruce W. Talamon Soul R&B Funk Photographs 1972–1982, published by Taschen in 2018. His most recent project was set photography and shooting the poster for the Universal Pictures film News of the World, starring Tom Hanks.

About the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Rock Connects Us. Our mission is clear: To engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock & roll. We share stories of the people, events, and songs that shape our world through digital content, innovative exhibits, live music, and engaging programs. At the Rock Hall, we are dedicated to making a difference. We intentionally foster a diverse and equitable Museum that encourages and embraces creativity and innovation. As a community leader, we value, empower, and respect all people. Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, & Inclusion is more than just a policy. It supports our mission and defines our future. Join the millions who love it as much as you do. Experience us live or online – Visit or follow the Rock Hall on Facebook (@rockandrollhalloffame), Twitter (@rockhall), Instagram (@rockhall), TikTok (@RockHallFame), and YouTube ( Long Live Rock!