Guest blogger Arlington Jones is a jazz pianist, composer, & educator. He is also the Artistic Director for Sammons Jazz at the Sammons Center for the Arts. Last weekend, a group of jazz musicians gathered for photographer Jesse Hornbuckle to recreate a classic photo to mark the kick off of Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month (D’JAM). Jerome Weeks is working on a KERA radio story and we’ll share the finished photo when it’s available. Til then, here are Arlington’s thoughts on the event.
It was a great day in Dallas on March 31, 2012. Jazz musicians from the DFW area came to together for a photo shoot to recreate the famous “Great Day in Harlem” photo (Harlem 1958) . As the musicians began to gather, I realized how significant this photo would be.
The DFW metroplex has a wealth of extraordinary jazz musicians, and it’s not every day that you get about fifty of them in one place at one time. The funny thing is that may sound like a lot, but there are so many more who were not present.
The coolest thing was the rare chance to interact with one another away from a performance setting. Piano players to piano players, horn players to horn players, vocalists to vocalists and so on. In our circle, you hear the name and know the reputation, but you may never meet in person. Some musicians were meeting for the first time face to face.
Though it was warm and the sun was beaming, the hour of gathering before the shoot went quickly because everyone was talking, laughing and having a good time catching up. There was also a feeling of excitement as we realized that we would be part of documenting something all the musicians in the area have known all along. That is, DFW holds a rich heritage in jazz and is home to a plethora of outstanding jazz musicians. What a way to kick off D’JAM (Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month)!
For a schedule of D’JAM events around North Texas, go here. Look for more posts from Arlington this month.