Hugh Brodie – The Truthful One

© Joe DiMaggio (all rights reserved) Jazz Musician, Songwriter, Singer Hugh Brodie in his home

To All the Ships at Sea,
     I once walked into a cocktail party of maybe 300 or so people and there was only one person I saw. He was a gorgeous gentleman with shock of bright white hair. I worked my way through the party left, right, left, right, and went up to him and said, “Excuse me my name is Joe DiMaggio. I think you’re absolutely gorgeous. I’m a photographer and I would love to do a portrait of you.” I had no idea who I was talking to at the time and that this man was a great musician, songwriter and singer.  I was astounded by his absolute persona & charisma.
     The man I’m talking about was Hugh Brodie and that was the beginning of three decades of friendship with Hugh.  Through him, I learned a lot about music, art history & communication.  We always had extraordinary deep conversations.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Brodie was an absolute visionary.  He let little get in his way and for man who did not catch many breaks in his life, he kept a great attitude. Brodie always called me brother, I called him brother and JoAnne was referred to as sister.  JoAnne has a fond  memory of Brodie leaving one evening  from a party we had. She remembers Brodie went out of his way to walk into the kitchen to say goodnight little brother to our son Dylan. That was Brodie for you!
     I photographed Brodie over the years and every time it was totally exciting. This was not because I’m such a great photographer but because his personality and soul always came through. I had the pleasure of spending that precious hour with him, on the last day of his  life before he packed his bags and went onto the the next level of consciousness.  I think back on our conversation about the sound & vibration of music, going onto infinity in the Universe and that every note and lyric lives on. This is how the whole world will remember Hugh. 
     Your spirit will always be with us.  Love you brother Brodie!

Hugh’s recent birthday celebration https://vimeo.com/204043097

© Joe DiMaggio (all rights reserved)

About Hugh Brodie – Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Illinois Jacquet were just a few of the musicians that were in Hugh’s dreams as a boy. Little did he know that he would be playing with Jacquet in the 1980’s. Yet, even before he could afford his 3 dollar lessons, Hugh Brodie would fantasize about becoming one of the great jazz musicians.

Hugh’s first exposure to the blues came when he was very young in the fields of North Carolina. He worked on his cousin’s farm and listed to the workers as they sang the blues in the blazing sun tending to the watermelon and sugar cane.

Later, in his early teens, Hugh was amazed by the way the members of the Sanctified Church in Newark N.J. used music in their worship. Hugh was astonished when he witnessed fellow worshipers being overcome by “the great creator” from their toes to their head. These experiences planted the seeds for Brodie’s future music. They created the life experiences and burning hunger that Hugh needed to create music about the spiritual world. Hugh wanted to play music so badly that he begged his father to buy him a sax.  Tenor Sax

Times Herald Record – Hugh was a storied jazz veteran. When asked to describe himself, he first says, “I am a creator,” then, “I am a searcher.” He played tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet, flute, sang and scatted. He was cousin to the great Ella Fitzgerald. Hugh devoted his entire life to jazz, developing his own sound, creating his own music and executing his own unique musical visions. He was taught and encouraged by the greats before him and he, in turn, passed on his collected knowledge, to those who played on the bandstand with him or, who sought him out at his home in Monticello, NY. He has many recordings to his credit, played with the famous Illinois Jacquet big band, traveled the world, produced his own music and appeared in movies and modeled throughout his life.

In 2013, Hugh was awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation,” by the Jazz Foundation of America. It said in part, “Your artistry and recordings have reached to the spiritual and emotional core of the true jazz experience.”
Hugh had a strong, infectious spirit. His influence and music will live on and on.
A celebration of his life and music will take place at The Falcon, RT 9W, Marlboro, NY on a future date.

Looking Forward to a New Year

© White Gallery

© White Gallery

To all the ships at sea,

Well, all good things must come to an end. The Wheeler-Kalish-DiMaggio show at the White Gallery has come to an end. A great end, but an end nonetheless. From my vantage point, the ability to share a gallery with two amazing artists was a wonderful experience.  It was an awful lot of fun and extremely rewarding on many different levels with the two gallery owners, Tino and Susan, as well. Dennis, myself, and JoAnne, along with Tino and Susan, entered into this experiment with an open mind and like many things in my life and my career I came away learning something. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s positivity, and in this particular case everything was positive. Great venue, show, people, support, and communication- what else could you ask for? To say nothing of the fact that all three of us artists had substantial sales of our work. I’m having a lunch tomorrow with Dennis and JoAnne and we are looking forward to our next show together. Life is good, sky is blue, the clouds are white. I continue to learn a little bit more about life everyday. So please pick up your cameras and go out and make some fine photos.

P.S. It’s free, and all the great things in life are free!

Hope to see you on the road,

Joe D.

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© Joe DiMaggio

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© Joe DiMaggio

© Joe DiMaggio

Kalish: In the Permanent Collection (Portrait Section) of the National Gallery of Art Washington D.C.

© Joe DiMaggio

To all the ships at sea,

JoAnne Kalish has an extremely small ego and a great talent. If you sipped a cup of tea, had a glass of Chardonnay, or had a Jack Daniels on the rocks with JoAnne, she would not tell you that she was the first woman hired by Sports Illustrated. She wouldn’t tell you that she was the first woman at the Indianapolis 500 or the first female photographer in the NHL penalty box. And the list goes on and on and on. To be honest, when I think of JoAnne I never think of her in terms of a woman photographer, just one hell of a great photographer. If you want to have a really good time and see some great art, the DiMaggio/Kalish/ Wheeler “Crossing the Line” show opens at the White Gallery in Lakeville, CT. (http://www.thewhitegalleryart.com on Friday, July 29th and runs to September 7th with Artists’ reception on Saturday July 30th .

“JoAnne Kalish a professional photographer since the age of 18, JoAnne was the first woman photographer hired by “Sports Illustrated.” She was the only photographer at the Long Beach Grand Prix, who got the famous near shunt involving Mario Andretti and James Hunt at the start of the race. The photo was featured on the cover of SPORT ILLUSTRATED’sYear in Photos” and was used as a double page spread for the coffee-table book “Andretti.” JoAnne has worked for numerous national and international publications, as well as doing advertising and corporate work. Her specialties are portraiture, beauty and sensuality. She is most recently known for her iconic portrait of Artist Will Barnet which is now in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art’s portrait section in Washington D.C. Her work is featured in many private and public collections.”

 

 

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

© JoAnne Kalish

White Gallery Calendar Listing

To all the ships at sea,

Two of my all time favorite artists, Dennis Wheeler and JoAnne Kalish, are coming together with me to do a combined show at the White Gallery. Should be a great show, would love to see you there.

“Event Description: Is it commercial art or is it fine art? A question we hear often lately because of the convergence of art and technology. These three artists have all enjoyed successful careers in the publishing world as photographers and designers with both Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. That was then. What is now are three artists who utilize the same skill sets to create beautiful art. We hope you join us to see the art of Joe DiMaggio, Joanne Kalish, and Dennis Wheeler. The exhibition opens July 29th and runs thru September 7th with the artists’ reception July 30th from 5-7pm.”

The gallery can be found at 342 Main St., Lakeville, CT 06039 and the gallery’s webpage can be found at http://www.thewhitegalleryart.com/ .

© Dennis Wheeler

© Dennis Wheeler

Pears ©JoAnne Kalish 3043 72dpi e

© JoAnne Kalish

Phone Booth 2 ©DiMaggio 72 dpi 0388R e

© Joe DiMaggio

Will Barnet: One Hundred and Five (I Wish)

Will Barnet Artist © JoAnne Kalish 576e

© JoAnne Kalish and self portrait Will Barnet

My partner, Joanne Kalish, received an assignment to do a portrait of Will Barnet. The first two sittings were canceled by Will. When JoAnne questioned the artist, he confided in her that he was not comfortable. Most great photographers know everything about shutter speed, aperture, sharpness- all of the things that are not that important in a photograph. JoAnne has the ability to make a total stranger comfortable and gets the best of the best.

They say the third time’s the charm. Will asked that there be no lighting, per se, and no assistant, pomp or ceremony. JoAnne went to Barnet’s studio armed with just one camera and two lenses and came away with the definitive greatest photograph that had ever been taken of Will Barnet. How do I know that? Will Barnet told JoAnne six months after the photo was taken that this was his all time favorite photo and the best photo ever taken of him. He’s not only been photographed by thousands of photographers but also at least fifty of the best photographers in the world.

Today would have been his 105th birthday. No photographer likes to take a backseat to another photographer. I love the photo so much that I actually purchased one from JoAnne and it hangs above my desk. We also now have a framed 40×60 called “Will Barnet at 100” that came from the National Academy Museum and School. Over the years, I’ve collected eight or nine pieces of Will Barnet’s art.

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JoAnne introduced me to Will and we had lunch and dinner together a few times. I have to say, he was one of the most amazing people that God put on this planet. At lunch one day we started to talk politics- not a good subject. I said, “What we need now is a new WPA (Works Project Administration)” and Will sipped his tea and said, “What a good idea, I headed the WPA as applicable to imagery.” I was sitting with a man who was at the forefront of the WPA.

WPA-USA-Sign

To all the ships at sea, I’d like to end this blog. One of the biggest thrills of my life was when Will Barnet looked at my portfolio. He looked at me and said, “You are not a photographer, you are a painter.” That will be one of the things I will always remember when I check into the darkroom in the sky.

Artist Will Barnet & Photographer JoAnne Kalish

Artist Will Barnet and Photographer JoAnne Kalish ©DiMaggio

 

You May Not Believe in God

 

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

I consider myself extremely lucky, and without plagiarizing Lou Gehrig, I’m one of the luckiest people in the world.  I’ve received 3 doctorate degrees over my years of traveling this blue marble they call the Earth.  Another reason I consider myself very lucky is I have great friends.  The majority of them are either scientists or artists, but all of them, to a man and a woman, are considerably smarter than I am.  It’s a good thing to have highly intelligent friends because I never stop learning.  What the hell does this have to do with God?  When you look at a lion in the middle of the jungle, and you look into the lion’s eyes, it’s one of the most amazing visions you’ll ever see.  The lion will look back at you, and you will feel terror, fear, love, and respect at the same time.   But the majesty, the beauty, the strength, is off the charts.  The lion didn’t get the name “King of the Beasts” because it was a flea.  I would like to share with you a few photographs.

Under normal circumstances, I would try not to judge my fellow man.  But I’m going to make an exception on this low life piece of s*** who chose to wound a beautiful animal, and then take a half a day to kill it.  If I could get my hands on him, I’d put an arrow to his thigh close to his groin, and watch him take a day to die.  God forgive me for a bad thought.  In case anybody hasn’t figured it out, we are killing this planet.  Everyday, we’re killing this planet.  There’s an old cliche, people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks, so in the interest of being open and above board, there was a period of time in the 70’s that I would fish for large game fish.  Every ounce of those fish were eaten and nothing went to waste.  The only reason that this even happened is because I was filming for Sports Illustrated, HBO, Discovery Channel, etc., etc., etc..  99.9% of every fish I caught was tagged and released.  For the record today, if I go fishing, I fish with a camera only.

©Joe DiMaggio

©JoAnne Kalish

©Joe DiMaggio

©Joe DiMaggio

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©Unknown

 

Motivation?

© Joe DiMaggio

Musician Doug Stegmeyer © Joe DiMaggio

What motivates you?  What motivates me?  In the case of this particular blog, what motivates me is a simple phone call from an old friend.  It was a phone call and the timing on it was perfect. Al Stegmeyer called and wanted to know why he had not seen a new blog from me since July or August. There is a very good reason for it.  I explained to him why I had not been blogging.  To all my ships at sea, I will tell you why in about 60 days.  Al was kind enough to invite me to a dinner celebrating his brother being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. That great musician was Doug Stegmeyer.  His mother Peggy Stegmeyer, a world class piano player and music teacher will be celebrating her 90th birthday.  For anyone who does not know know who Doug was, he was the bass guitarist for Billy Joel. Nothing would make me happier than to spending an evening with Peggy, Al, and family, in celebration of a good friend and one hell of a musician, but I will unfortunately not be able to attend.  So to all the Stegmeyers out there I wish you health, happiness, and a beautiful rainbow.  I will be there in spirit.

An Additional Note – A NASA scientists once explained to me that every note in music travels into space and remains there for infinity.  So Doug your music is still heard all over the universe

small rainbow

© Joe DiMaggio