Green Mill

2018 in Music Photos

A year of big performances, big venues, big voices, and big ovations. Here’s a look at my favorite music photos from 2018. Applause to all!

All photos © copyright 2018 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved.

Summertime Views

Summer is even more unpredictable than the rest of the year, but the last three months gave me some wonderful shoots with longtime friends and colleagues, cool kids being their cool selves, lots of great tunes, and a big open look at the Milky Way on a perfectly dark night in Colorado. Behind the scenes, I've made significant investments in my business and I'm looking forward to sharing some big projects, news, and more views in the fall! 

All photos © copyright 2018 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved.

2017 in Music Photos

Here is a selection of my year in music photography, leading off with an image from the Chicago Children's Choir that sums up 2017 in general. It's a pretty awesome privilege to be able to do this for a living.  

All photos © copyright 2017 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved.

Chicago Jazz: A Photographer's View - Sept 23-Oct 25, 2015

One of the major highlights of 2015 - three of my photos were selected for inclusion in "Chicago Jazz: A Photographer's View" at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts.  My pictures were featured alongside some terrific images from around the city, and I had a chance to meet some photographers I've long admired - Stan Lee, Jasmine Kwon, Mark Sheldon, Farrad Ali, and Jack Siegel.  Many thanks to Bill Michel and the Logan Center for a great show and fun evening.  Below, my images from the Green Mill and performance shots of saxophonist Bernard Scavella and drummer Greg Artry.  

Photos © Copyright 2015 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved. 

On Jazz and Photography

I wish the Pharez Whitted Group had a standing gig at the Green Mill.  These guys played some of the hardest-hitting, soulful music I'd heard at the Mill all year.  From my seat down front, I had clean views of most of the band (no music stands!), so I snapped away.  

My affinity for jazz has grown in the last year alongside my approach to photography, and I believe the two are related.  I've discovered that, for me, photography is largely improvisational. I arrive at a shoot with an idea of what I want, but the final product is often a collaboration between the subject or client and myself.  The best images come from on-the-spot decisions, and I've learned to embrace the unknown or unexpected.  Jazz teaches me this lesson every time.   

Thanks to Pharez Whitted (trumpet), Eddie Bayard (sax), Lovell Bradford (keys), Jon Wood (bass), and Greg Artry (drums) for a weekend of killer music.  

Recent visits to the Green Mill

I'm pretty lucky to have one of the world's greatest jazz clubs three blocks away from my apartment.  Recently, I've seen saxophonist Victor Goines, who performs around the world with the Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; and accordion virtuoso Julien Labro and the Hot Club of Detroit.  Click through the gallery below for some views from my table.

Pharez Whitted at the Green Mill

Last Saturday night, I did two really awesome things. 1) I spent 3 hours listening to the great jazz pianist Willie Pickens at the Green Mill while he fired off Thelonious Monk tunes like it weren't nothing.  And 2) I met and photographed trumpeter Pharez Whitted, who is a very nice guy but will knock you over with trumpet solos.  I love photographing musicians.  They do their thing, I do mine, but I've never thought of them as mere entertainers.  There is art, there is the moment of creating music, and they've spent years learning how to be really good at it.  Photographing musicians is a privilege, and a task I am continually drawn to purely out of respect for their work and for a love of music.  

Pharez Whitted blows a mean trumpet at the Green Mill.

Pharez Whitted blows a mean trumpet at the Green Mill.