Happy New Year 
Another year is upon us and as I look back in order to look forward, I can only say that I am very thankful for the opportunities that have crossed my path in regards to being able to do music photography. This last year has been a whirlwind of coverage due to the support from the
Detroit Metro Times of which, I owe a lot of my thanks to. Thanks to just plain old logging in hours and hours of practice while on assignments from them. I have gotten better.

Recently, while travelling home from a holiday visit in Florida, I was reading Malcolm Gladwell's book entitled Outliers. The author covers a variety of ways, paths and strange stories about those in the world that don't quite fit in the typical circle, but eventually get better at what they do, become very successful and make great contributions to society in many ways.

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  He describes that the sheer fact some people become better at their passion, business, career, sport or art, is by just logging in hours and hours of practice. Though now after publication, the theory is now heavily contested by psychologists, it is still a catchy concept. I chuckled at the chapter while reading it on the beach, and thought, well only 10,000 more hours to go, in live music photography! 
July Talk at The Shelter | Detroit

Yes! I finally got to cover July Talk  and sing along to  Paper Doll  and  Guns and Ammunition ! It was fun to be able to chat with band member Peter Dreimanis briefly before the show about both of us being part Latvian in heritage. I started the conversation with "hey you know my cousin is named Peter Dreimanis?" and Peter said, "yea, does he live in Las Vegas or something?" and I said "yea, I think so...I don't talk much with him." Too funny, I guess they get each others mail & phone calls sometimes. It would be a dream to go on tour with  July Talk  to Riga, Latvia and other Baltic cities. I think the region would embrace Leah and Peter's original songwriting and vision. It's hard not to like the ''grit versus soft'' combination of this band from Toronto. The crowd at the Shelter was at times agitated and fighting, but the band neutralized the situation with a musical pacifier pulled from their deep bag of tricks.

LIGHTS at St. Andrews Hall 

Photographer Tony Lowe was unable to cover this show, so I was the lucky second photographer and just happened to also be at the show. The Lights | Mowglis tour came to St. Andrews Hall in Detroit and was one of the more uplifting fun festival feeling indoor shows I have been to in awhile. I caught the end of the Mowgli's set and found my self dancing with a lot of younger people which was really fun. The crowd shots came out great as well. Lots of happy people and lots of funny hats. Lights began the show with a dramatic stage lighting arrangement and led into a diverse set. It made for a great night of capturing the band in a variety of settings and lighting. 

Jean Luc Ponty & 
Jon Anderson 
The It's Better Late Than Never Tour

As a past Board Member at the Detroit Music Hall it's always nice to cover a show there. The
Jean Luc Ponty & Jon Anderson, "Its Better Late Than Never Tour" came through and I was able to cover the full show. The tour which is also a new CD, is the long awaited and discussed project that these two musicians have been taking about for the past 10 or more years. Started recently as a  Kickstarter Campaign, they raised enough funds from their dedicated fan base to make the idea finally come to life. For more on the tour with these 2 legends see this LINK.

Chucho Valdes at the Michigan Theater

My second time seeing  Chucho Valdes play was just as good as the first time. As part of the music series for the  University Musical Society at the University of Michigan , they brought Chucho back to town from Cuba with his band to get us all out of our seats and dancing in the aisles. With the Afro-Cuban Messengers on stage left and Chucho on stage right, the photo challenge was to try to get them all on one shot. The stage had about 16 musicians on it all together- amazing horn section, Cuban drum, standing bass and the finale had a traditional song with a solo dance using a red hankerchief that will be engrained in my memory forever.

I was honored to meet the UMS director after the concert and was asked to submit a photo album that will reside in the UMS archives for all to see well past my lifetime. Thank you for the  opportunity to help record music history.

July Talk's Leah Fay & Peter Dreimanis after the show.