(Photo of Elio Villafranca the Northwest Jazz Festival by Jack Zuff)
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Zuff. Somehow, I had come across his photography, which he said was a “hobby.” Some hobby for those who have seen his photographs!
At that time, I encouraged Jack to make jazz a subject of his hobby. Especially in black and white photographs. As many jazz fans and aficionados know, there have been some very memorable black and white photographs in the annals of jazz history. Many that are so important, they should be kept in a vault somewhere. For instance, this photograph from September 13, 1953:
The photograph was taken by Bob Parent at The Open Door Jazz Club, then in New York City. A close look reveals the 35 years old Thelonious Monk on piano, the 31 years old Charles Mingus on upright bass, the 28 years old Roy Haynes on drums, and the 33 years old Charlie Parker on alto sax. The billing that night was for the Thelonious Monk Trio. Charlie Parker showed up and “sat” in. The result is this classic photo.
In the mission of JazzBuffalo, Jack Zuff has been a pivotal partner and contributor to JazzBuffalo. As the photograph above demonstrates, such photos can be quite powerful in not only building awareness and appreciation for jazz but also for chronicling special and even historic moments.
Recently, Jack has started a Facebook Page titled Music Photography in Black and White. Where he has been posting some incredible black and white photographs from the past three years he has been attending events and making memories. I would encourage you to look.
Here are a dozen favorites that only touch the surface of the many great photographs taken by Jack Zuff:
Capturing the great Benny Green at the Northwest Jazz Festival:
The superlative bassist Avery Sharp at the Northwest Jazz Festival.
A classic pose from bassist Ed Croft.
A prescient photo of Rishon Odel Northington.
The great Richie Cole at MusicalFare Theatre. May he R.I.P.
Drea d’Nur at the Nina Simone Tribute Concert at the Underground Railroad Museum in Niagara Falls.
The great Steve Turre at the Northwest Jazz Festival.
The phenomenal Carol Welsman at MusicalFare Theatre.
Rod Bonner at the Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series.
Carina and The Six String Preacher at the Screening Room.
The rising star jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn at WNED.
The rising star jazz vocalist Veronica Swift at the JazzBuffalo Premier Series at Nichols Flickinger Performing Arts Center.
There are so many more special moments captured by Jack Zuff. Let us all hope that we can one day soon be back making memories again.
If you have a favorite photograph from Jack, let us know in the comment section!