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25 February 2018

Post 602: MAKING TRADITIONAL JAZZ VIDEOS

I feel hugely privileged to have lived to an age when - sitting at my computer here in Nottingham, U.K. -  I am able to click a button and watch wonderful traditional jazz performances from all around the world. We have to be deeply grateful to all the generous and hard-working video-makers who provide us with these treats.

Some of them have high-quality equipment. They use two or more cameras and have a separate sound-recording apparatus.

If it had not been for video-makers such as those codenamed digitalalexa and RaoulDuke504, I might never have discovered the wonderful traditional jazz being played by relatively young musicians in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. Their videos convinced me that I had to get to New Orleans to see and hear for myself.

Good news is that digitalalexa (Al and his wife Judy) produced the first video of Tuba Skinny to be viewed more than a million times: THIS ONE - CLICK ON TO WATCH IT.

When I decided to try to make some videos, I bought a simple small camera from the cheaper end of the Panasonic Lumix range. It is intended mainly for taking still photographs but, like most cameras these days, it has a built-in microphone and the facility to record videos. It also has a useful 'zoom' feature.

Once you have made a video, it is easy to load it on to such a site as YouTube, thereby making it available to viewers all over the world. You have merely to follow the simple instructions on the screen.

I have had only four or five opportunities to video truly outstanding jazz bands. But I have made a number of videos and put them on YouTube. My favourite - the one with which I am most pleased - shows The Shotgun Jazz Band at The Spotted Cat Club (New Orleans) playing Royal Garden Blues when I was there for the French Quarter Festival in April 2015. The band was on absolutely cracking form and I was able to film from the side, very near the band, so I obtained some pleasing close-up shots of Haruka, Marla, James, John and Twerk.

If you have not yet seen that video, you can watch it BY CLICKING HERE.

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I still do.

I must also mention James Sterling, who discovered the music a few months after I did. Living in Florida, he has been able to travel to New Orleans far more often than I have, and he has uploaded some fine videos.

If you haven't yet explored what's up there on YouTube, you should start by looking at the offerings of the three video-makers I have mentioned.