Jazz at Douglas Beach House

This beautiful sunset was the backdrop for a lovely evening with the wife last night.  We headed to Half Moon Bay in the late afternoon, and enjoyed the sunset from an old beach house that happened to be a wonderful venue for live music.

One thing I noticed, sitting up there in the balcony at Douglas Beach House, was all the grey hair! Bridget and I were among the youngest people in the crowd, and by no small margin. It made me think about the state of Jazz music these days. It’s such a beautiful art form, and yet over time, seems to be becoming less and less appreciated, especially by today’s youth. Indeed, Bridget and I often go alone to these shows, as many of our friends just aren’t that interested in Jazz.

That being said, it sure was refreshing to see people my age up there on the stage keeping Jazz alive. These guys were absolutely incredible. We had Josh Nelson (above) on the piano.  Had a quick chat with him after the show. Great guy, extremely talented. He seems to have played with all of today’s Jazz greats, even Natalie Cole, with whom he told us he’s arranging to perform with yet again.

Dayna Stephens on the tenor sax. What a sound… I don’t think I have any more words beyond that. Simply amazing.

Dave Robaire on the bass. If you look at the lower left of this image, you can see the top of a black music stand that, for most of the performance, completely blocked my view of this musician. Fortunately, Dayna lowered the stand towards the end of the show, which helped me get a clear shot.

Dan Schnelle on the drums. The ensemble played a song that he wrote last night. Each of these musicians were just oozing with talent.

When sunlight was no longer pouring in from the west-facing windows, all I had to work with was the stage lighting. The lights were gelled orange and yellow (with the exception of one un-gelled spot on the pianist), which created a color cast that seemed to work with Dayna Steven’s darker skin tone, but made the rest of the band look decidedly yellow-skinned. Hence, the black and white conversion on select images.

When the show was over, we enjoyed some light conversation with the artists, and Bridget rushed to the stage to take a look at the Piano:

What’s so special about this Piano? It’s the same piano Bill Evans himself played at this very venue many years ago.  A Jazz musician who had a huge influence on the genre, the work of Bill Evans is a source of continued inspiration for Bridget’s music.

Don’t let Jazz die, people!


Nikon D700 | 24mm f/1.4G | 50mm f/1.4G (roll over images for exif)

8 thoughts on “Jazz at Douglas Beach House

  1. You captured the beautiful expression of the ocean. I love that photo!
    And your photos at the jazz live performance are splendid. You use both lenses very well. I am learning a lot from you:))

    I guess your wife was excited to play the special piano!

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