I always look forward to my hometown festival and over the past 30 years I have photographed Canadian and international artists that have performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. I try to capture the personality, energy, emotion, dedication and skill these talented artists display while playing jazz. Many of my festival photos have been exhibited in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre, National Library and Archives of Canada, National Press Club and at the Ginn Gallery.Enjoy a sampling of this year's festival which included performances by Hudson (Jack DeJohnette, Larry Grenadier, John Medeski and John Scofield), the Donny McCaslin Group, Kenny Barron, The Bad Plus, and Mavis Staples.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.