Bruce Polonsky Photography
30 Years of Music... and more
Meet Bruce and view some of his latest images
I grew up north of Sacramento, CA in a town called Yuba City. My folks liked music and felt it should be part of my life. Sitting next to my Dad at the piano, listening to him play classical music, was my first experience of live music.
My mom and uncle liked taking pictures. I began photography at about 8 years old. I enjoyed stopping fast action, such as friends jumping in mid-air. And pie pans, I discovered, could look a lot like UFOs. These are the roots of my visual creative process.
It was my goal from the beginning to choose moments which expressed the emotions experienced by improvising musicians, the deep feelings and ecstatic release shared with the audience.
Information, experience, and maturity contributed many more elements to the mix, and by the time jazz came to me in 1975, I was well into explorations of visual form and content, plus I had begun to take pictures at concerts.
In 1974 my musician friends from college and I landed in San Francisco. They brought big jazz record collections, and there was a lot of live jazz in town. It was total immersion. I first fell in love with the music of Monk, Ellington, and Mingus, and continued from there...
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