Jazz From Row Six
by Jean Germain
Few photographers of jazz musicians have had the opportunity to follow their subjects over the course of decades, documenting their music and art. But as official photographer of the Sarasota Jazz Club, Jean Germain did. For more than 25 years, she captured images of Big Band era legends in performances at the annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. Her pictures of regulars – like Bob Haggart and Milt Hinton – show them in different stages of their careers. Other images showcase well known festival visitors like Tito Puento, Gerry Mulligan, Cleo Laine, Doc Cheatham, Diana Krall, George Shearing and Lionel Hampton.
Whether it’s “Sweets” Edison and Snooky Young reuniting after 30 years, Bucky and John Pizzarelli – father and son guitarists – playing together, or Eartha Kitt showing that she had still great legs at 80, Germain’s photos reveal more than the pleasures of these artists making music. Her lively images convey the energy, passion and spirit of these jazz greats, many of whom performed into their 80s and 90s, and for whom music burns like an immortal flame, no matter what their age.
Jean Germain moved to Sarasota, Florida, after a career in education. After meeting former Benny Goodman publicist Hal Davis, she helped found the Jazz Club of Sarasota and became the official club photographer. Her award-winning work has appeared in juried shows, corporate collections and numerous publications. Jean is a member of the Sarasota Arts Council and belongs to several Sarasota arts organizations, the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, and The Photography Center at Woodstock, NY.
Praise for Jazz From Row Six
Jazz From Row Six is quite delightful, and I’m sincerely honored at being included amongst the illustrious company.
-Dame Cleo Laine
You know what’s so good and so refreshing about these pictures? Unlike too many arty or posed shots, these natural-looking visual insights give you a real feeling of what these creative people were really like. And that could only come from someone who herself had a real feeling for the music and kept respect for its performers.
-George T. Simon
Author of The Big Bands
Jazz From Row Six holds the distinction of having been named a President's Book Award Winner and an Indie Book Award Finalist.
More recently, the book was honored as an Award Winner in the "Photography: People" category of the 2010 International Book Awards, and named as the Winner in the "Music" category at the Paris Book Festival.