Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

The Jazz Jam

with 18 comments


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

Bridget was recently a featured artist at a weekly Jazz Jam here in San Francisco! It was pretty exciting for her to be able to sing for about half an hour straight with a very talented band.


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 1/640 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800

Each of us has our own creative passions. For me for course, it’s visual art through photography. Bridget’s creative outlet is music. She studied musicology and jazz vocal performance in college, and now enjoys writing her own music as well as jamming with other jazz artists.


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600

Jazz is a fascinating art form. There’s a lot of improvisation involved, and yet each band member cooperates to ensure harmony. If you watch carefully, you can see the band members communicate with one another. Sometimes, it’s a simple nod to another player, letting him know he’s up for his solo. Other times, it’s a hand signal or some other cue.

The beauty of a jazz ensemble is that a good band doesn’t necessarily need to rehearse beforehand. In this case, Bridget simply handed the band a set of charts that let them know what chords are involved in the piece. Seconds before they’d start a song, she’d snap her fingers and count her desired tempo, and they’d just go.  No rehearsal, completely impromptu. It was amazing.

It’s always fascinating to see her work with a band. As a jazz vocalist, you don’t simply sing while the band follows your lead. You’re just another instrument in the ensemble. When jamming on the fly, you have to be aware of what’s happening within the band at every moment, and know how to communicate with the members during the song in order to execute certain portions of the piece at the right time. Bridget is completely in her element in this regard…I always find myself thinking “how in the world does she know what to do!!!?”


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G | 1/40 sec, f/1.4, ISO 5000


Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G | 1/400 sec, f/2, ISO 800

It was a beautiful performance. Bridget sings a lot at home, but you can really see her passion ignite when she’s on stage with other Jazz musicians. Couldn’t be more proud =)

Written by Jonathan

May 10, 2011 at 10:12 am

18 Responses

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  1. That’s pretty awesome! Does she have a website where I could go hear her music?

    Austin Miller

    May 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

  2. Hi Honies! Thanks for the write-up and for the beautiful pictures. =)

    Bridget

    May 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

  3. I’m bummed that I missed this, but glad that I could see pics from that night. Great job as always J. We all need to catch up soon. Went to Himawari last night with B and Nomar. Sooo good!

    B – I love your makeup. Smoky look goes well with Jazz!

    Dominique

    May 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    • Thanks! Funny, we were there at Himawari on Sunday! Gotta keep going back. Definitely gotta catch up with you guys! =)

      Jonathan

      May 10, 2011 at 8:29 pm

  4. Beautiful pictures and this is something I would love to see. Great songs on Bridget’s website. Wish there are more updates. =) So Bridget does more than Jazz…?

    Nice detail on the first picture with the sign against the building.

    Howie

    May 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    • Thanks, yeah, it was a great performance. I keep telling Bridge to update! But song writing is a very slow process, and she’s a busy woman =)

      Jonathan

      May 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

  5. This is so sweet! You can feel the love and support here. I have no doubt that Bridget was awesome. You’re right — jazz is so outside the structure and rules I’m used to that I’d have no idea how to do it well. Much props to B for doing it so well. :)

    Btw, thanks so much for your comment on my portfolio! It really meant a lot to me. Actually, I hadn’t noticed my photography influencing your style (oh gosh, does that sound narcissistic?!), maybe because I feel like I don’t have a good distinctive style. But I borrow very heavily from some of my fave photogs, so any style you may see is highly derivative. ;)

    Jacqueline

    May 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    • Hey, thanks! I know what you mean about not feeling like you have a style…seems like nothing is really absolutely original when it comes to art. We all have our influences! =)

      I think it’s the whole “capturing the small details and bringing them together in a cohesive way to give the viewer a distinct sense of the environment as you see it” sort of thinking that I feel I assimilated by following your work. Or maybe its just that I like shooting pictures in coffee shops now. haha

      Jonathan

      May 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      • Ah, I see! This is true, I do try to capture the scene in a way that shows my experience there, especially through details. And a coffee cup or two. Lol!

        Jacqueline

        May 11, 2011 at 6:33 am

  6. oh, how I wish to be able to see Bridget perform live! As you know, I’m Haley and Casey’s fan, and I came to realize that i really like music with some jazzy slant. That is a gorgeous pic of Bridget – it reminds me that she’s also an incredible makeup artist!!

    Karleen

    May 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    • Very true! Her other art is makeup for sure…really into it. The result is that I know way too much about makeup than I want to admit o_O Hope you get to see her perform one day!

      Jonathan

      May 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

  7. This is a great write-up and thanks for the introduction about jazz; i really had no idea about the intricacies of the vocalist role. Love the lighting and clarity in your shots.

    John

    May 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

  8. I hope I can hear her sing live some day! :)

    Pia

    May 13, 2011 at 1:43 am

  9. What a sweet post! :) I feel like I’ve learned so much about Jazz just by reading your blog! Thanks for the information. Bridget is really, REALLY talented to be able to sing impromptu. I think it’s so awesome that you both can share your passions together at the same time. Bridget sings while you take her photos. Post a video next time of her singing! :)

    Jasmine Lee

    May 14, 2011 at 12:03 am

    • Video would have been a great idea! I’m always torn with weather I should do stills or video for things like this, because I can’t do both alone. Maybe next time =P

      Thanks everyone!

      Jonathan

      May 16, 2011 at 7:55 am


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