Jazz Is….

Those familiar with my work know without jazz, there’d be a sizable void in what I’ve been able to create,  and without radio, there’d be an even more astronomical void in the universe of music in general.  Therefore, when I was offered a chance to support WBGO as the photographer for their annual Gala, Wednesday, November 6th at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, only the word “yes” was an option.

I set up a photo booth and asked the patrons what jazz meant to them.  Here are a few examples of what they had to say,

11-time Grammy winner and Latin Music Master Paquito D’Rivera:

T.S. Monk with Thomas R. Carter, President of the The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz:

WBGO Special Events and Programs Coordinator and widow of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dorthaan Kirk:

Publisher of Downbeat Magazine, Frank Alkyer:

We were also treated to performances by this year’s Theloneous Monk International Jazz Saxophone Award winner, Melissa Aldana,

Kenny Barron, and Jazz bassist Christian McBride’s group Inside Straight.

I was also honored to have a portrait shoot at my studio as well as an Instrumenthead print auctioned off with proceeds benefitting WBGO.  Public radio is and has always been the best forum for keeping listeners in tune with their local communities and giving voice to indigenous music that may not get opportunities elsewhere. Jazz is the perfect example of this because it is truly an American art form and language of the people that would not likely be heard without stations like WBGO.