A Great Day in Seattle - Anatomy of a Seattle Jazz Photo
A Great Day in Seattle:
The Boss and the Photographer
Originally uploaded by RedRaspus.
When my brother first told me what he had in the works, I practically jumped out of my skin. "What a great idea!" I thought to myself, wishing it had been my own. For many years, Thomas and I have tried to propagate the idea of a "Seattle Jazz Scene," rather than a Seattle with all of these pockets of musicians -- free, bebop, electric, modern. I'm trying to do my part with the Seattle Jazzscene podcast, as well as a few other projects in the works. Thomas' new undertaking, however, will surely help people recognize on a much greater scale what this city has to offer in terms of jazz music.
What was this great idea? A Great Day in Seattle, of course: to have a picture taken depicting the vast number of professional jazz musicians living, working, and playing in our area. With some 300 people joining the festivities yesterday at City Hall in downtown Seattle, that idea came to fruition. The picture, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Sheehan, and styled after the famous A Great Day in Harlem photo by Art Kane, will be available for purchase in April 2008 -- next year's Jazz Appreciation Month -- to help raise funds for the organization MusiCares.
And what a blast! There were some folks I haven't seen in years -- Brian Kent, Scott Babcock, to name a few -- and others that I see every week. There were players in their early twenties, and a fair number in their seventies and eighties. Truly the highlight of my day was the picking up and taking home of Buddy Catlett, certainly one of our local legends, and someone who is still out there playing, too! I've played many times with Buddy over the years, but never have I learned more -- about Seattle, jazz music, or anything -- than those few times I've been able to talk with him alone. For me, he is a reminder of why I continue to play -- the hours, days, and years of playing music have literally transformed Buddy into "music as life," in my eyes. When I dropped him off, his cell phone rang the "Theme from Star Trek" -- he reminded me that it's nearly the same chords as "Out of Nowhere" and headed into his place. Thanks for coming, Buddy! And to everyone else who made it, as well -- I think it is safe to assume that a truly "Great Day in Seattle" was had by all in attendance.
Be sure to read the article in the Seattle P-I, or you can watch some of the video that King 5 has made available of the event. And most importantly, if you want to support this fine event and its beneficiary MusiCares, please visit the official site for A Great Day in Seattle. Also, please post your photos from the event at Flickr and use the tag, agreatdayinseattle.