David and Malcolm Sinclair launched SinclairJazz in 2015 to promote the unique jazz photography of David Sinclair and enable easier acquisition of his work by collectors. This website builds upon the original site David established 15 years ago: Jazz Photographs
SinclairJazz is run by David’s son Malcolm who can be contacted at @ regarding sales, exhibitions, site improvements or any aspect of David’s work. Exhibitions have been held in London, Paris, Bristol and Portsmouth. David’s work is also often displayed, with watermarks, on Jazz Photographs on Facebook and @SinclairJazz on Twitter.
David Sinclair has been photographing the world’s leading jazz musicians for over 25 years. His work has been used regularly by the media and music industry, in the UK and internationally, in print, on CD covers and in jazz books and publications.
“It’s a sign that you have ‘made it’ as a jazz club if you have some Sinclairs on the wall” (Simon Cooke, Managing Director Ronnie Scotts 2015).
“His photographs are a kaleidoscope of my life” (Michael Connarty, former chair of the Parliamentary Jazz Awards)
Many of David’s photographs reflect the close relationships he has developed with numerous international and homegrown musicians, in jazz, blues, folk and rock, particularly through his work at Ronnie Scotts. He is often commented upon by musicians as being the photographer who takes the least images and gets out of the way the quickest, so that they can play their music and others can enjoy the performance.
David has published and sold photographs internationally for many years, and was patron for Jazz Hot’s 80th Anniversary in France in 2015. More than 25 years ago David’s work started on the walls of the Bulls Head in Barnes, in south-west London. These days his photographs can be seen covering the walls in clubs across the city, particularly at Ronnies, The 606, and Pizza Express Jazz Clubs.
David has been disabled for all his adult life, needing a walking stick at all times. Once, when photographing McCoy Tyner, his stick fell onto the stage and broke: the band stopped playing and made him a replacement with a broom handle!
In 2014 his legs were further damaged in a car crash and he is now unable to walk more than short distances. Since 2014, David has scaled back his photography activities, but has still made occasional visits to Ronnie Scotts and the London Jazz Festival to see and photograph old friends including Abdullah Ibrahim, DeeDee Bridgwater, Joe Lovano, Robert Glasper, Archie Shepp, Hugh Masekela, and the Average White Band.
These images represent one man’s work over a quarter of a century. Each and every image is copyright to and the legal property of David Sinclair. Any unauthorised copying, duplication or other use of any image without express and written permission from SinclairJazz is strictly prohibited. We regularly search the internet for unauthorised image usage and will take assertive action if this occurs.
David in his own words
“I have always loved music. It started with my mother playing boogie-woogie and Chopin on the piano at home in Edinburgh. Then I fell in love with the clarinet: Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Klezmer.
My first live photograph was in the late 80’s, at my local arts centre in Surrey: US Trumpeter Wild Bill Davison. Soon after, the Ronnie Scott Quintet played there. The photograph I took that night of Ronnie sitting unaware is still one of my favourites.
Soon after printing it in my darkroom, I rang him to ask if he would please sign it for me. He said “Sure, bring it along”. He gave my wife and I a table, watching Cedar Walton, and later signed the picture ” To a Great Guy. Ronnie “. I was of course delighted, particularly as he felt I was special… a great guy…until next morning over my cornflakes and gazing starry eyed at the photo and the written blessing, I suddenly realised that the wording actually read ” FROM a Great Guy “,… typical of Ronnie !
Regular visits with my camera to the Bulls Head in Barnes followed, to see the likes of Stan Tracey and Don Weller. My photos started to go up on their walls and I began to feel like a Jazz Photographer. I rang Ronnie Scotts, asking Pete King if I could come to the club to take photos. NO was his pointed reply: he always had a soft heart. A few months later, I was very surprised, and overjoyed, to get a call from Pete who, in his charming fashion, said “bring your bloody camera up if you want to.”
I, with David Redfern, had exclusive access to Ronnies for 25 years and also shot regularly in Soho Pizza Express, 606 Club, Vortex, and at events in Barbican, Festival Hall, Albert Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Originally using a Minolta 35mm and then moving on to a second hand Nikon 35mm and a Rolleiflex. I now use a Nikon D800 and occasionally my beloved Leica M6.
It has been a pleasure getting to know the hundreds of musicians both US and UK, who have played in Ronnies and other venues.
Highlights have included tracing Scottish ancestry for Hugh Masekela (strange but true, I have always felt that he and I were cousins), having Abdullah Ibrahim break off from rehearsals to sing several standards for Kathy my wife, and having Gwilym Simcock come to my house to play for Kathy towards the end of her life. Lastly, I have a particular admiration for the saxophonist Art Themen, not only for the music I have seen him play so well, from the Bulls Head in the 90’s to the present day, but because in his time as Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Reading Hospital he operated on my legs successfully correcting prior mistakes of other surgeons.”
This website is a development from my previous jazzphotographs site. My son Malcolm