Posts tagged “seattle photojournalist

Bill Anschell Trio – Jazz Photography


The Bill Anschell Tiro who appeared last weekend at the 2009 Bellevue Jazz Festival performed at the Bellevue Grill to a packed house.


Toshiko Akiyoshi


Toshiko Akiyosh conducts the Seattle Jazz Repertory Jazz Orchestra during a performance at Nordstrom Hall on March 7th 2009

In a fantastic and entertaining performance, internationally renowned, award-winning composer, pianist, and NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi  lead the SRJO in a concert of big band works from her many years touring the globe with the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band. Born in Manchuria, Akiyoshi took up jazz as a teenager in Japan, coming to the US in her 20s to immerse herself in the sounds of Basie and Ellington. She became the first woman named “Best Arranger and Composer” by Down Beat magazine, and has recorded over 45 albums with a refreshing view of the art of jazz.

This was one in a series of concerts by the : NEA Jazz Masters Live  a new NEA initiative and Earshot Jazz has been chosen to participate. The program celebrates the living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz, NEA Jazz Masters Live supports meaningful, in-depth, extended engagements featuring NEA Jazz Masters that:

* honor their body of work, history, or styles
* provide understanding of their significance to jazz through thematically-designed or retrospective programming
* broaden audiences’ awareness of their unique contributions to this original American art form.


Bill Frisell And Russell Malone

Bill Frisell and Russell play at the Triple Door on Weds Feb 25th.

This was a fantastic show. The interplay of the guitar voices was fabulous. It was wonderful to hear the two of them when they each played a solo but mostly when they played so well together, whether on some old classic by  T. Monk or the old Monkey’s tune “Last Train to Clarksville” or a Hank Williams tune. A delightful mix to the set.
“It’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he’s found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play. Unlike other pastichists, who tend to duck passion, Mr. Frisell plays up the pleasure in the music and also takes on another often-avoided subject, tenderness.” – The New York Times.

Over the years, Frisell has contributed to the work of such collaborators as Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks, Vic Chesnutt, Rickie Lee Jones, Ron Sexsmith, Marianne Faithful, John Scofield, film director Gus Van Sant, David Sanborn, David Sylvian, Petra Haden and numerous others, including Bono, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and Daniel Lanois on the soundtrack for Wim Wenders’ film Million Dollar Hotel. This work has established Frisell as one of the most sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music. The breadth of such performing and recording situations is a testament not only to his singular guitar conception, but his musical versatility as well. This, however, is old news by now. In recent years, it is Frisell’s role as composer and band leader which has garnered him increasing notoriety.

Ever since Charlie “Bird” Parker recorded his (first) Charlie Parker With Strings sessions in 1949 and 1950, jazz artists have celebrated their romantic sides by employing lush string sections. Everyone from Chet Baker to Clifford Brown to Wes Montgomery did some of their best work in the presence of string sections, and on Heartstrings (Verve), Russell Malone puts his own spin on the jazz-with-strings tradition. Those who think that they’ve heard it all when it comes to strings projects are in for a surprise; Heartstrings, the swinging yet lyrical guitarist’s sixth album, is full of gems that jazzmen often overlook. Typically, a jazz-with-strings project will emphasize what has often been called “The Great American Songbook”—namely, well-known standards of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. But on Heartstrings, which was produced by the GRAMMY®-winning Verve Music Group Chairman Tommy LiPuma, Malone doesn’t limit himself to the George Gershwin and Cole Porter standards that jazz artists have recorded time and time again. Employing a solid rhythm section (pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts) and three different string arrangers (pianist Alan Broadbent, Brazilian great Dori Caymmi, and the famous Mandel), Malone lends his unmistakable sound to everything from an Anne Murray hit (“You Needed Me”) to a gospel favorite (“What A Friend We Have in Jesus”) to the Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne gem “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry.”

More pictures to follow over the next couple of days as I edit the take.

 Photographers in Seattle Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in portrait photography  for publications and corporations, and a wedding photographer at A Beautiful Day Photography with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach, creating award winning wedding photojournalism, is ranked one of the best photographers in Seattle  by the National Association of Wedding Photojournalists.

More Earshot Golden Ear Awards Photographs


Hadley leads his quintet opening up the Golden Ear Awards night.


Hadley, Phil Sparks on bass and Thomas Marriott on trumpet.


Phil Sparks on bass.


Dee Dee Bridgewater



Dee Dee Bridgewater
Singing at the Triple Door with her Red Earth Group on Oct 21st 2007

Dee Dee Bridgewater triumphs on stage and on record while her passionate, honey-tongued voice amasses a long list of accomplishments, accolades, and artistic milestones that few living legends can match.
After marrying trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater in the early ‘70s, she soon began singing with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra, followed by stints with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, and Sonny Rollins, a 1975 Tony Award for her portrayal of the good witch Glinda during a two-year stint in The Wiz on Broadway, and a Laurence Olivier Best Actress Award nomination for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day.
Speaking from her home in Henderson, Nevada, Bridgewater breezily discusses music and acting, occasionally pausing to take bites of her dinner. “As a singer and a bandleader,” she says, “I’ve been able to take things that I’ve learned in theater and apply them to my performances: communicating with the public, clowning in between songs, trying to create a repertoire that has a nice flow to it.”
That repertoire expands again with Bridgewater’s stunning new album, Red Earth, A Malian Journey. Folding West-African flavors into a matrix of jazz and blues, the album employs 10 Malian musicians – including Grammy-winning kora player Toumani
Diabaté (kora) – in a sensuous melding of that country’s traditions of musical storytelling and Bridgewater’s own life-long love of blues and jazz.
“I had wanted to do an African project, but I never could define it,” she remembers, “but once I felt very strongly that [my ancestry] was from Mali, then I decided I would focus this whole project on Malian music.”
Born to the descendants of Native Americans, Chinese, and Germans – “I just knew he was white and spoke this funny language,” she laughs, mimicking her grandmother’s memories of the latter’s own grandfather – Bridgewater was subsequently
raised on a diet of regular anecdotes about her ethnically various ancestors. Nevertheless, she eventually found that her most spiritually resonant bloodline ran through Mali.
The physical journey back began with her appointment, in 1999, as an Honorary Ambassador for the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The position called for her help in setting up self-sustaining, women’s business collectives in the villages of several African countries. “In the beginning,” she laughs, “the FAO tried do it with men, but men would squander the funds.”
In Mali, she worked with the Peul tribe, among whom she began to feel an extra-dimensional affinity. “When I was there, there were people who resembled people I know in the States,” she recalls. “It was freaky. And certain customs that we have in black communities, I understand now where they came from, because they’re right there being practiced.”
A return trip yielded the majority of recording for Red Earth. Stylistically, the record ambles through jump blues (“Children Go ‘Round”), jazz balladry (Nina Simone’s “Four Women”), scat-laden pop (“Compared to What”), and incantatory Malian traditionals, each with a story of its own. “No More,” for example, revisits the Malian protest song “Bambo,” the popularity of which, in the 1960s, forced the Malian government to abolish the previously institutionalized practice of forced marriage.
Song by song, the album works tirelessly to maintain the storytelling spirit of the griots. “In the Malian and other African cultures, they’re the oral historians,” Bridgewater explains. “At least that’s what they used to be.
“Today the griots tell stories, basically, to flatter the people they want to get some money out of,” she says with a laugh. “But they are also able to tell you a lot of the history of their country.”
Fortunately, Bridgewater – gifted with talent, accustomed to success, and trained in drama – has a subject of constant fascination for her main character. “Of course, with Red Earth,” she admits coyly, “I’m telling my own real story.”
In elegant service to its protagonist, Red Earth – signaling the reddish soil of both Mali and her native Memphis – spins an undulating yarn. Throughout,
Bridgewater’s original lyrics render Malian tales into first-person English, and remarkably, much of her singing so carefully settles into the Malian rhythms and diphthongs that her English actually sounds like a generally recognizable and yet distinctly African language.
Red Earth’s opener re-imagines the title track of Bridgewater’s debut album, 1974’s Afro Blue. Shortened considerably – but certainly not, er, mollified – the “Afro Blue” of Red Earth testifies to a skyscraping career by recalling its distant beginning. From the ground up, the song’s new moody polyrhythms promise that even 33 years on, there’s undiscovered
country left, not only in Africa, but within Dee Dee Bridgewater herself.

Photograph by photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and a photographer in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photography.

Seattle Photographer – Wayne Horvitz – Sound check

I photographed Wayne Horvitz during a sound check before his performance at the 2006 Earshot Jazz Festival at the Triple Door. He was laying with the Gravitas Quartet. A beautiful group. What I really like about this photograph is the backlight making almost a complete silhouette. It is really nice to have access to different angles during a soundcheck instead of shooting from the audience. I am going to add this to my editorial website splash page. I like the feeling of it. Maybe it is too quiet?

Photograph by photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and a photographer in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning wedding photography.

Victor Noriega


Victor Noriega plays with the Paul Rucker Group at The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on October, 19th, 2008, during the Earshot Jazz Festival.

Victor played great with Paul Ruckers Group during the Festival. I wanted to get in a photo of him but the Festival schedule was too busy to make before now.

Earshot Jazz described his playing as “Victor Noriega has developed a distinct personal style that is both inventive and adventurous… his piano playing is crisp and articulate, and his compositions fuse Classical and Filipino folk elements with a jazz aesthetic. One moment his playing is reminiscent of the intricate contrapuntal lines in a Bach fugue, and the next the percussive dissonance of Bartok’s music for piano… Listening to Noriega perform is like hearing the pieces of a puzzle come together into a satisfying whole.”

Photograph by photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and  photographers in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning  bridal photography.

Movie Music


Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra West, Wednesday, November 5, King Cat Theater

For a Seattle photographer, this was so much fun to watch and photograph this group play to these old movies. I wish they had a regular gig doing this.

New York-trumpeter Steven Bernstein conducts his fine nine-piece band, which typically explores the largely-lost music of the bluesy, loose-territory bands. Tonight he performed in accompaniment to three Laurel and Hardy silent films on the screen behind him at the King Kat Theatre and he and the band had a lot of fun with it as did the audience. The Laurel and Hardy films were classic treasures. Steven Bernstein likes to have his cake and eat it too. The Grammy-nominated trumpeter is one of the hardest-working musicians to come out of New York’s “downtown scene.” He recently released three critically-acclaimed CDs on John Zorn’s Tzadik label and has had his music featured on MTV, Saturday Night Live, and National Public Radio. His ensemble, the Millennial Territory Orchestra, is an outgrowth of his immersion in the sound of the Midwestern swing bands from Robert Altman’s movie Kansas City. The ensemble was formed in 1999 for a series of midnight shows at New York’s Tonic nightclub, and they subsequently spent a year and a half in residency at the Jazz Standard. The group, a collection of distinctive musical personalities, recently released its debut recording, MTO Vol. 1, on Sunnyside Records. This is sure to be an edge-of-your-seat performance, featuring swing band adaptations of several rock and soul genre classics, led by this wonderfully “left of center” musician.

Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan, a photojournalist specializing in photojournalism and portrait photography for publications and corporations and a Seattle wedding photographer with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning Seattle wedding photography and wedding photojournalism is ranked among the best Seattle wedding photographers.

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Redux – Ravi Coltrane


Ravi Coltrane Quartet Thursday, October 30, Triple Door

Ravi played so sweetly I just had to post another photo of him. In retrospect it was one of the really grat shows of the 2008 Earshot jazz Festival for me.

Like his legendary father, John Coltrane, tenor and soprano saxophonist, bandleader, and composer Ravi Coltrane is dedicated to walking his own musical
path. Considered one of the driving forces in modern jazz today, Coltrane was initially influenced by soul and funk music, R&B, classical music, and film scores before beginning formal musical studies at the California Institute of the Arts in 1986.
After meeting drummer Elvin Jones in 1991, Coltrane relocated to New York, where he performed with a variety of players, including Rashied Ali, Kenny Barron,
and Steve Coleman. He toured regularly with Coleman and appeared on several of Coleman’s albums before producing his first CD, Moving Pictures, in 1997. Since then, Coltrane has produced five more albums, including Legacy, a four-disc, thematic study of his father’s career; Translinear Light, a collaborative project with his mother, pianist Alice Coltrane; and In Flux, featuring pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland – his primary ensemble since 2003.
In addition to working and touring with his band, Coltrane launched his own recording company, RKM Music, in 2002. He has also performed with McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, and Branford Marsalis, among others.


Photograph by Seattle photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and  photographers in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning  bridal photography.

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Roosevelt H.S. & Sean Jones


Sean Jones playing with the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band

Another photograph from the Earshot Jazz Festival 2008. The reigning champion of Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition, the Roosevelt Jazz Band opened the Earshot Jazz Festival at the Triple Door to a completely packed house Saturday night October 18th celebrating Seattle’s place in the great continuum of jazz.

Photograph by Seattle photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and  photographers in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning  bridal photography.

Billy Bang


Billy Bang playing with his Quartet October 19th as part of the Earshot jazz Festival of 2008

Billy Bang along with Andrew Bemky on piano put, on a wonderful show with amazing performances especially on a piece based on Bang’s Vietnam experiences, which he was playing in this photo.
The next step in the Stuff Smith–Leroy Jenkins continuum, Bang has redefined jazz violin. His bluesy, emotive style stands among the most compelling and enjoyable in jazz. With Todd Nicholson, on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums.

Photograph by Seattle photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and  photographers in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning  bridal photography.

Sean Jones


Sean Jones playing at the Triple Door with the Roosevelt H.S. Jazz Band on the opening nght of the Earshot Jazz festival Oct 18th 2008.

Over the course of his first three albums for the Mack Avenue Records label, trumpeter Sean Jones has revealed himself as among the most immensely expressive, versatile and gifted players of his generation. With each new project, the Warren, Ohio native has peeled back another layer to show us a fresh peek at his soul. His 2004 solo debut, Eternal Journey (recorded when he was 25) introduced Sean as a deft expresser of modern bop for the 21st century via originals and standards in a quintet format. His sophomore effort, Gemini, found him deftly mixing soul and funk flourishes with bop, proving he was not adverse to more contemporary textures. His last album, Roots, reflects his love of the music of the church, which he grew up singing as a child.

Now with his fourth and equally impressive release Kaleidoscope, Sean Jones adds another hue to his ever-expanding musical palette – showcasing the voices and song selections of an amazing assemblage of five top-flight singers: Gretchen Parlato, Carolyn Perteete, Sachal Vasandani, J.D. Walter, and contemporary gospel powerhouse Kim Burrell. Most of them are unknown to the majority of listeners…but not for long if Sean can help it.

“The concept of this record basically happened during a break in the sessions for Roots,” Sean shares. “(Producer) Al Pryor said it would be cool if I recorded with some vocalists next time. I was open to that, but I didn’t want to do a typical vocal record. I didn’t want that soft, run-of-the-mill love song thing you hear on the radio. And I didn’t want to grab a bunch of stars just to sell records. I wanted to create a document celebrating the vocalists of my generation – a hard-hitting project that would allow me to superimpose my sound on top of their dynamic styles.”

The instantly striking aspect of this concept is the utter generosity and deference Jones gave to both his guest vocalists and band members. “This is a collaborative project,” he states. “I believe that there is power in numbers and power in a generation, not in individuals. When I look at jazz and music in general, combined forces are much more effective than one person trying to make their testament alone. True, I am soloing on every song and there is space for me to shine but, I was more concerned with celebrating these gifted composers and vocalists. I titled the album Kaleidoscope because these artists represent the colors of my generation. And I see myself as a thread among them.”

Kaleidoscope’s opening number, “Allison,” sets the stage for Jones’ arresting first vocal forays. The piece opens as a soft, floating instrumental gradually building in intensity then introduces J.D. Walter singing a soaring wordless vocal reminiscent of the work of the pan-cultural Pat Metheny Group. “That tune is a mood,” Sean says, “a bridge built to prepare listeners for what they’re about to hear – a fresh segue from everything I’ve already done.” Regarding the title, Sean adds, “Everyone in the studio knew an Allison so we called it ‘Allison’ – a universal thing.”

The final piece is a rolling and tumbling composition of vitality from the pen of Sean’s right hand – pianist Orrin Evans – titled “The Sluice” and featuring the explosive drumming of Obed Calvaire. “A Sluice is a pathway that brings the good water from one source to another,” Sean explains. “Orrin and I dedicate that song to Professor Ralph Bowen, through whom a continuum of nothing but the good stuff flows whenever he plays.”

The same can be said of Sean Jones, a player whose style reflects Clifford Brown for technical facility, Freddie Hubbard for flowing, lyrical lines, Woody Shaw for his intervalistic approach, and Miles Davis for leadership in forward thinking and contouring the music of the eras around his singular style. Indeed, it was after a teacher gave Sean – then a fifth grader – copies of Davis’ albums Kind of Blue (1959) and Tutu (1986) that he was hooked on trumpet immediately. Lessons learned under Professor Bill Fielder were of infinite guidance to young Sean as were high school studies with Esotto Pellegrini, which led to Sean earning an undergraduate degree in classical trumpet.

Notes on Sam and his  album from Sean Jones’ website

Photograph by Seattle photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan specializing in portrait photography for publications and corporations and  photographers in Seattle with an unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating award winning  bridal photography.