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Superstars of jazz at great festivals


U.S. bass master Stanley Clarke at the Belgrade Jazz Festival. Copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

A host of superstar musicians and singers thrilled packed crowds at the Belgrade and Pancevo Jazz Festivals in Serbia. Among the artists in Belgrade were saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd, The Mingus Big Band, bassist Stanley Clarke, singers Dianne Reeves and Jazzmeia Horn, and pianist Michael Wollny. 

At Pancevo the artists included trumpeters Charles Tolliver and Paolo Fresu, the Cross Currents Trio with Dave Holland, Chris Potter and Zakir Hussain, and the large ensemble Little Rosie's Kindergarten from Austria. Included in Tolliver's All Stars were legendary bassist Buster Williams and drummer Lenny White.


Italian flugelhornist and trumpeter Paolo Fresu at the Pancevo Jazz Ferstival, Serbia. Copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk




The Jazz Masters Gallery launched

Sonny Rollins at the Barbican, London. One of the images in the new gallery: The Jazz Masters. Photograph copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

JOHN WATSON WRITES: I'm fortunate to photograph, and sometimes to talk with,  some of the greatest musicians on the planet. It's a huge privilege and gives me tremendous satisfaction as both a photographer and as a lover of jazz.  I've now compiled a gallery of some of my favourite images of The Jazz Masters, taken over the years in the UK and abroad.

CLICK ON THE LINK ON THE LEFT: New - The Jazz Masters Gallery

Soulful and sizzling at Cheltenham

David Sanborn with his Acoustic Band. Copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

A tremendous line-up of major international artists, plus many rising stars, thrilled the crowds at the 2019 Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Among the performers were alto saxophone legend David Sanborn with his Acoustic Band, singer Gregory Porter, latin star Sergio Mendes, reedman John Surman with his Brass Project, and a host of groups and artists including The Bad Plus, Swedish trio Rymden, Partisans, singer Julia Biel with a Buck And Billie show featuring Alyn Shipton's Buck Clayton Legacy Band, and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed with her new project Polyhymnia.



Omar Sosa with Yilian Canizares at Cheltenham. Copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk 



Academy chooses Jazzcamera photography

Jason Yarde - one of the Academy's Jazz Executive Committee members. Photograph copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

BASCA - the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - has chosen John Watson of jazzcamera.co.uk as a recommended photographer. 

The Academy's Jazz Executive Committee has many leading performers and composers, including Mark Lockheart, Issie Barrett, Ed Puddick, Emily Saunders, Alex Webb and Jason Yarde. 

Rising stars and legends in London Jazz Gallery

Trilok Gurtu in action with the Jan Garbarek Group at the Royal Festival, London. Photograph copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk

John Watson's images of a host of international artists, ranging from rising stars like singer Elina Duni and saxophonist/singer Haken Kornstad to jazz legends including Jan Garbarek, Jim Hall, Stanley Clarke, Charles Lloyd, John McLaughlin, Sheila Jordan and Chick Corea, can be found in the Jazzcamera 'London Jazz Gallery'.


Giants of jazz in special gallery

Chet Baker, one of the legendary musicians featured in the new Jazz Gallery Birmingham - see the link on the left. Photograph copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk. All rights reserved.

John Watson writes:

I began my work as a jazz photographer by taking shots of Chet Baker at the Rep Theatre in Birmingham, and over the years I've photographed musicians at many venues in the city. I thought it was time I featured some of these giants of jazz in a special gallery on jazzcamera.co.uk. Artists featured include Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Eberhard Weber, Oscar Peterson, Jan Garbarek, Esjborn Svensson, John Surman, Pat Metheny and Dave Holland.


Jazz Impressions prints

Title: Blue Impressions Copyright John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk.

A new series of stunning high resolution prints of John Watson's photographs is now available from www.jazzcamera.co.uk. The prints can be supplied on high quality photographic paper ready for framing, or on rigid PVC board. The series features impressionistic photographs taken at major festivals and venues.

The first prints in the series can now be seen by clicking on the link on the left: 'New! Jazz Impressions prints'.

The Power of Jazz chosen for national collection

John Watson's critically-acclaimed photography book The Power Of Jazz has been chosen by The National Jazz Archive for its permanent collection.

The archive includes more than 4,000 books, journals, letters, programmes and the personal collections of such leading figures as Mike Westbrook, Ian Carr and Charles Fox.  The archive, based in Loughton, Essex,  can be visited in person or on line at www.nationaljazzarchive.org.uk.

The new, updated softback edition of  The Power of Jazz has won rave reviews in leading jazz magazines.

In Jazzwise magazine, writer Peter Vacher describes the book as 'an impressive tribute to Watson's ability to get up close and personal, to capture the moment and to delight in experimentation. Unreservedly recommended.'

In Jazz Journal magazine, writer Fred Grand says: 'With a combination of technical prowess and a passion for jazz, Watson produces images that are invariably pregnant with the atmosphere and energies of the moment. Treasure packed and highly compulsive.'

The Power Of Jazz  can be viewed on line and bought exclusively at:


Search for 'The Power Of Jazz' on Google

READ THE REVIEWS:  Click on the link on the left 'Rave reviews for the new book'

Three U.S. Jazz Awards nominations

Carla Bley by John Watson - nominated as Jazz Photo Of The Year in the JJA Jazz Awards in New York

John Watson of jazzcamera.co.uk was nominated for photography in the JJA Jazz Awards in the USA for this shot of pianist-composer Carla Bley. It was the third successive year that he had been nominated in the 'Jazz Photo Of The Year' category of the awards, which are organised in New York by the Jazz Journalists Association.

On Location

Locations for the music photographs in the galleries include:

New York: Village Vanguard, 7th Avenue South; Jazz Standard, East 27th Street;

Garage, 7th  Avenue South; Arturo's, West Houston Street, Greenwich Village

Tokyo: Bar the 16s, Shiba Park

Belgrade, Serbia: Dom Omladine, Sava Centar concert Hall, Belgrade Jazz Festival

Pancevo, Serbia: Kulturni Centar, Pancevo Jazz Festival

Warsaw, Poland: Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival

Skopje, Macedonia: Universal Hall, City Hall Centre , Skopje Jazz Festival


London: Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, The Barbican, Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express Jazz Club, London Jazz Festival, BBC Studios, Maida Vale, Jazz Cafe

Birmingham: Symphony Hall, Town Hall, CBSO Centre, Adrian Boult Hall, mac arts centre, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Pizza Express Live, 1000 Trades

Bristol: Colston Hall, Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival

Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: The Sage concert halls, Gateshead International Jazz Festival

Cheltenham: Everyman Theatre, Town Hall, Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Ipswich: New Wolsey Theatre, St Peter's By The Waterfront, Ipswich Jazz Festival

Wales: Brecon Jazz

Isle of Wight: Jazz Divas Festival

Coventry: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Cathedral 

Lichfield: Guidhall, Lichfield Cathedral, Garrick theatre, Lichfield Jazz and Blues Festival

Wolverhampton: Arena Theatre, NAC

Nottinghamshire: Bonington Theatre, Arnold

Derby: The Voicebox