Seattle Jazz Photography at the Earshot Festival (1999)
We’re not going to play the blues anymore. Let the white folks play the blues. They got ‘em, so they can keep ‘em. -- Miles Davis
This collection of black and white jazz photographs was taken in 1999 during the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, Washington and include Branford Marsalis and Chick Corea. You can find more of my international street photography on the main page.
The Earshot Jazz festival in an international festival of jazz music and arts, formed in 1984 to support both the local and international jazz community. Earshot has established an international reputation for the quality of its programming and services while becoming an integral part of Seattle's vibrant cultural scene. Early in the 1990s, Earshot Jazz was recognized as one of 20 primary sites in the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest National Jazz Network. Beginning in March 2000, they joined 11 other key organizations in the US to comprise JazzNet, a significant jazz support initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Fund. Earshot Jazz is also one of the founding member organizations of the Western Jazz Presenters Network.
Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe. . . That’s what I would like to do. I think that’s one of the greatest things you can do in life and we all try to do it in some way. The musician’s is through his music. -- John Coltrane
Miles Davis, supremely cool behind his shades. Billie Holiday, eyes closed and head tilted back in full cry. John Coltrane, one hand behind his neck and a finger held pensively to his lips. These iconic images have captivated jazz fans nearly as much as the music has. Jazz photographs are visual landmarks in American history, acting as both a reflection and a vital part of African American culture in a time of immense upheaval, conflict, and celebration. Charting the development of jazz photography from the swing era of the 1930s to the rise of black nationalism in the ’60s, Blue Notes in Black and White is the first of its kind: a fascinating account of the partnership between two of the twentieth century’s most innovative art forms.
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. Its African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note. From its early development until the present day, jazz has also incorporated elements from American popular music.
Although this doesn't fit in with the other street photography of this site, I have a fondness for these seattle jazz images due to the fact that they are some of the last images I shot on film.