Shooting primarily in black & white, using only available light with a Leica camera system, Skip Bolen is dedicated to "capturing the moment" of some of today's most exciting jazz performers on and offstage, revealing images infused with the spontaneous intensity, raw energy and collaborative spirit of the live jazz performance. Photographs on exhibit include Dave Brubeck on piano, Jason Marsalis on vibes, James Singleton on bass, Cassandra Wilson on vocals, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on trumpet, Donald Harrison Jr. on alto sax, Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn, Nicholas Payton on flugelhorn and trumpet, Mark Whitfield on guitar, and more. The exhibit also includes images shot in and around New Orleans that capture the essence and soul of the Big Easy.
Born just outside of New Orleans, Skip Bolen took his first photo at the tender age of 8 with a Kodak Instamatic 124. His family traveled quite a bit and someone had to take the pictures when his father wasn't. In his late 20's, he moved to New York City where he spent most of his time after hours in Greenwich Village basement Jazz clubs and spent his money on Jazz CD's. While there, he also studied at the International Center of Photography. His keen interest for both Jazz and Photography didn't meld until he moved back to New Orleans where he was inspired by seeing the extraordinary works of Herman Leonard and Bill Claxton at A Gallery for Fine Photography.
Today, Skip prefers shooting with a Leica R8 system and Leica Minilux. Working without flash, being as unobtrusive as possible in deference to the performer, he adapts his technique to each club or location setting. He is in constant pursuit of impromptu moments that display the heart and soul of what is Jazz, often capturing the intense concentration and sheer joy of the extemporaneous collaborative effort in the facial expressions of jazz musicians.
Skip Bolen's jazz photography has appeared in the CBS News Productions' episode of "Legendary Hangouts" hosted by Morley Safer. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Jazz Day L.A., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Los Angeles Jazz Society's Annual Jazz Tribute and Awards Dinner & Concert. His photography has been featured in various leading American and local jazz publications and newspapers, as well as various major label CD packages. In addition to his day job as the Art Director of House of Blues in L.A., he currently freelances for several publications. He is a member of the Jazz Photographers Association, Jazz Journalists Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Los Angeles Jazz Society and Advertising Photographers of America.
Bakery Art Exhibitions is a visual art exhibition program located in the historic Helms Building in Culver City. It is sponsored by The Jazz Bakery, a non-profit organization that is an internationally recognized, 230 seat Jazz performance venue under the creative direction of its founder, Ruth Price. Bakery Art Exhibitions has presented seventeen exhibitions of paintings, drawings, photographs, prints & collages during the past three years. Free and open to the public seven days a week, from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m., it is located in The Jazz Bakery lobby at 3233 Helms Avenue in Culver City (Los Angeles).
Joseph DeMario, the Art Exhibitions Curator, is a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a working visual artist. For more information, you may contact Mr. DeMario at The Jazz Bakery at 310.271.9039 or visit the web site at http://www.jazzbakery.org