One of the consistent pleasures of having a jazz blog is that people you wouldn’t otherwise know of find you. One of my most happy encounters of late in cyberspace has been with the young Israeli / American photographer Maya Hed, who is having her first solo exhibition in Israel, beginning May 19, 2011 (details below). Maya chooses an approach different from many photographers and catches her subjects — jazz artists from around the world — in contemplative mode during the sound check.
The first photograph is a study of Tony Pancella from Italy, someone internationally known for his work with Larry Willis, Charles Tolliver, Lee Konitz, and many others. Maya told me, “The reason I chose this photograph is because I love the blue back aura that rises from behind Tony. For me this was a moment of pure “Nila” (Blue) Loving kindness, peace, and universal compassion — shown by the color of the Buddhist flag. The interaction between Tony and the piano is what interested me; when I took this photograph I could feel his thoughts before the music came to life with the help of his great knowledge.”
The second photograph captures the American drummer Joe Farnsworth, known for being a band member in ONE FOR ALL. Maya recalled, “I remember taking photographs of Joseph and the band; I was about to get off the stage and then I heard someone laughing. I turned around and saw the magical smiles of Joe and John Webber, the double bass player. I slid onto the stage and took the photograph. Each time I look at it I hear their joyous laughter and remember that great moment.”
The Israeli saxophonist Mel Rosenberg is the subject of Maya’s third study. Maya recalls, “Mel is the first musician I ever photographed and he introduced me to the Israeli jazz scene. In this photograph what enchanted me was the interaction between Mel and the woman in the photograph behind him; she looks as if she is listening to the music and contemplating something. Her eyes are half-open and she is looking towards Mel’s saxophone, which was the source of the music playing when I took this photograph.”
Maya’s fourth study is of Stefano Bollani, Jasper Bodilsen, and Antonello Salis, musicians who hail from Italy and Denmark. She told me, “This photograph was the birth of the title of the exhibition. About a year ago I was looking at this photograph and this title came instantly into my mind: A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON. It’s not that I’ve lost my mind. No, it’s what I would love my viewers to feel when they look at my photographs — a pure moment of relaxation.” I hope that some JAZZ LIVES readers can visit and immerse themselves in Maya Hed’s world. And on opening night, Mel Rosenberg and his band will give a concert.
Here’s the invitation:
Upcoming Exhibition May 19th -June 19th , 2011
From May 19th – June 19th, Maya Hed will present her solo photography exhibition, which captures exclusive pictures of extraordinary jazz artists from all over the world, during the sound check in opera houses and jazz clubs where the artists experience very intimate, secluded, and unique moments.
In this intimate series the viewer can experience through the photographic medium, the vivid expressive force of jazz music, echoed by the photographs that enable us to “listen” with our eyes.
Further, after enduring the black and white photography documentation of jazz music over the past years, Maya’s fresh approach presents many photographs in color in the belief that emotions and stage life come to light better in her colorful menagerie outlook.
The camera leads us behind the scenes with such luminaries as Stefano Bollani who overwhelmed Italian jazz culture, Tony Pancella — a very important figure in Italian Jazz, and Nicola Stilo, who played with one of jazz’s greatest artists, the notorious Chet Baker and many more.
Maya Hed was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to Israel in the late 90’s, where she studied at The Kiryat Ono College of Photography.
Maya specializes in photography of the arts, focusing on music and fashion. She enjoys taking portraits and seeks to create a sense of freedom and relaxation for the viewer. Her photographs shine with life and creativity and generate intrigue. Her photography transcends space and time, taking the viewer through an emotional journey of positive feelings. Maya’s goal is to express her point of view and passion for life while giving the viewer a glimpse into her world.
On The Warm Sand at the National Maritime Museum in Haifa. January 2007.
60th Anniversary for Israel’s Independence at the University of Basel and moving around, 2007
PCK Group Exhibition at The College of Photography Kiryat-Ono, July-August 2008.