JAZZ VISIONS was conceived in the fall of 2014 during the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, and quickly took on a life of its own. I knew I wanted it to have an educational component; what I didn’t know was that I was the one with the most to learn. I wanted to include some history about the venues and musicians and about this art form sometimes referred to as “America’s classical music”. It wasn’t going to be just about painting interesting scenes and pretty pictures; it was about reading, doing research, re-visiting places with a new and different perspective, listening to more jazz than I ever imagined I would, and watching hours of Ken Burns’ PBS Series JAZZ.
Besides the vast amount of content that I needed to study and absorb, I wanted to do something technically different and challenging from a creative perspective.
For years I have been painting nearly exclusively on paper. For this project, while I dabbled in this medium before, I really broke out of my comfort zone and did all of the newer pieces (15 of them) on stretched canvas specially prepared to accept watercolor. Now that was interesting – trying to get a grip on this temperamental medium! I know that I’m known for tightly detailed paintings … but, you just can’t do that with watercolor on canvas. So it is possible you may notice my style has loosened up quite a bit.
I will keep painting on both paper and canvas, and maybe add some more jazz paintings along the way. I never really certain what I will do next, but this trip sure has been a gas.
And finally …. a robust drum roll to Ed Bride, jazz nut and wordsmith extraordinaire… he created all of the captions that accompany the paintings. Plus …. this project was his idea.
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
Two years ago during the 2014 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, the organizer of the festival suggested the two join forces and put on an exhibit….Everett’s photography and Bride’s paintings…and that is how it all began.
Marguerite Bride and Lee Everett have joined together to present a show that is certain to get your blood moving and your feet tapping. Visualizations – both in paintings and photographs – of what has come to be called “America’s classical music,” JAZZ VISIONS will run from August 5-27, 2016.
Mostly known for her watercolors of local Berkshire scenes, New England, Italy, Ireland, and custom house portraits, and only recently music-influenced paintings, Marguerite Bride has been attending jazz events and festivals for all of her adult life. Her paintings capture scenes like the Newport Jazz Festival; Montreal Jazz Festival; New York and New Orleans jazz scenes; assorted jazz venues; many of the Pittsfield jazz events and performers during the festivals; and also regular jazz nights at Mission Bar and Tapas, North Street’s Monday night jazz haunt. In all she will have approximately 20 original paintings; most are watercolor on canvas.
As a special bonus, there will be a silent auction of a fine-art reproduction of Bride’s “The Master’s Hands” personally signed by Dave Brubeck during the 2009 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which was the legendary Brubeck’s last performance in the Berkshires. Bids will be accepted during the exhibit with the winning bid announced at 4pm, August 27, the last day of the show. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to Berkshires Jazz.
For forty years in the Berkshires and beyond, Lee Everett has captured the magic of the moment in live performances by some of the world’s greatest artists. A lifelong love of music and drawing portraits prepared and enabled Everett to capture sensitive images of performers involved in their art. Starting at the Music Inn in Lenox in 1970 and continuing to this day at a number of world class venues he has created striking photographs of a tremendous array of musicians.
The last ten years as photographer for the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, the likes of Phil Woods, Dr. Billy Taylor, Randy Weston, John Medeski, Marvin Stamm and many other well-known jazz performers have been before Everett’s lens.
For this Jazz Visions exhibit, Everett will exhibit an action-packed array of approximately 20 pieces of his jazz photography….ranging from Ray Charles to Grace Kelly, Tony Bennett, and more.
JAZZ VISIONS is supported in part by the Pittsfield Cultural Council.