Jay Blakesberg displays his latest book, “Eyes of the World – Grateful Dead Photography – 1965-1995,” at The Birchmere on June 9, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
How would our memories serve us in life without the assistance of photography? What would the realm of live music look like without the historical record provided by the photographs that serve as hard evidence of what has and who have come before us?
Jay Blakesberg knows from more than 40 years of experience that the duty of a live music photographer is, as he refers to it, “visual anthropology.” A native of New Jersey born in 1961, Jay is a guiding force in the world of both live music photography and musician portraiture, having worked with a staggering list of some of the most well-known musicians on the planet and seen his photos published across a universe of media.
Between The Dark and Light: is a fast paced slideshow/storytelling presentation featuring rock-and-roll photographer Jay Blakesberg, who shares many stories from his amazing 40+ year career photographing the Grateful Dead experience. During this 90-minute presentation, the charismatic and funny Blakesberg regales attendees with photos and stories related to his epic rock-and-roll American Dream story.
To help address the plight of Washington DC’s residents hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, local music photographer John Shore is launching Fund by Photo, a nonprofit online photography site featuring photographs from past live music shows.
Iggy Pop at the Old Waldorf, San Francisco, 1977, by Chester Simpson (also found on Page 79 of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen).
On Oct. 24, Smithsonian Books published a vivid collection of rock photos titled Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen by Bill Bentley. Bill may have written the book, but it pools photographs from many sources, including our own Chester Simpson, who contributed seven of the 350 pictures to the project.