Now open: John Watson’s Jazz Camera exhibition for Legends Festival

Organist Joey DeFrancesco and jazz-soul legend David Sanborn at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London – one of the images in the Jazz Camera exhibition in Birmingham. (Photo ©  John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

Organist Joey DeFrancesco and jazz-soul legend David Sanborn at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London – one of the images in the Jazz Camera exhibition in Birmingham. (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

John Watson‘s jazz photographs will be familiar to readers of thejazzbreakfast, but the constraints of a 700 pixel-wide window on a website cannot do anywhere near full justice to them. So I’m delighted that John has an exhibition of his Jazz Camera prints as part of Birmingham Jazz’s forthcoming JQJAZZ15 Legends Festival.

The exhibition is being staged at the café-gallery Urban Coffee, in The Big Peg building near the historic clock in the Jewellery Quarter. So grab a coffee and browse to your heart’s content.

John has photographed his fair share of jazz legends down the years and images in this exhibition include Chet Baker, Gil Evans, Oscar Peterson, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Lee Konitz, David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco.

Watson is an award-nominated photographer specialising in the arts, especially jazz. He is a contributing photographer to Jazz Journal, the UK’s longest-established jazz magazine, and his work has appeared in Jazzwise magazine and many other music and photography magazines in the UK and around the world, as well as in books and CD/DVD booklets. And on thejazzbreakfast, of course!

The Jazz Camera exhibition was first staged at Symphony Hall in Birmingham in 2009, and Watson’s work has also been exhibited at many other galleries, arts centres and at festivals in the UK and abroad, including the 2014 Belgrade Jazz Festival in Serbia and recently at the Ipswich Jazz Festival, Suffolk.

Watson’s jazz photography has been nominated three times in the JJA Jazz Awards in New York. The annual awards are organised by the Jazz Journalists Association, the world’s leading jazz media organisation for photographers, writers and broadcasters.

  • John Watson’s photography book The Power Of Jazz won extensive critical praise in both the UK and the United States, and now is in its third edition. It is exclusively available here.
  • An extensive selection of his photography can be seen on his website here.
  • The JQJAZZ15 Legends Festival, promoted by Birmingham Jazz, runs from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 July, mainly at The Red Lion in the Jewellery Quarter. Artists featured include trumpeters Henry Lowther and Bryan Corbett, saxophonists Alan Barnes, Tony Kofi, Chris Biscoe, Simon Spillett, Chris Bowden and Chris Gumbley, and guitarist Gareth Fowler. For festival details go here.
  • For directions to Urban Coffee and opening times, go here.


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