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From Paris to Pompey – Exhibitions and Le Jazz Hot 80th Birthday


This year is the 80th anniversary of Le Jazz Hot, France’s premier jazz journal and a symbol of the music’s history in Paris and across the country. Now online and free at Jazz Hot – la revue internationale du jazz depuis 1935 Jazz Hot asked David Sinclair and the French poet Serge Baudot to be their patrons for this year’s anniversary.

Serge Baudot (left), Yves Sportis (microphone) & Malcolm Sinclair all commemorating 80 wonderful years of Le Jazz Hot

SinclairJazz had a small exhibition of photographs over the last quarter of century at the magazine’s packed birthday party, held at Le Fond’action Boris Vian in Montmartre at the end of March. That event also featured an exhibition of jazz drawings and writing by Charles Delaunay (1911-88), and commemorative speeches by Yves Sportis of Jazz Hot and Malcolm Sinclair on behalf of David, with poetry from Serge Baudot. Much was said of the history of Jazz Hot, as well as more reflective references to colleagues from Charlie Hebdo.
Jazz Hot’s own video of the event captures its very Parisian feel, with an inimitable Django Reinhardt soundtrack.
YouTube Video ‘Les 80 ans de Jazz Hot’
As so often is the case with David’s photographs, it was his signature black and white pictures that drew the greatest attention, and comparison to Delaunay’s portraits. These included Wynton Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and the Kenny Wheeler Quintet.

Some of David’s photographs on show in Paris

Around the walls at Le Fond’action Boris Vian were numerous magazine covers covering the last 80 years. Those from more recent times all had photographs to the fore, many of which have been David’s.

Boris Vian (writer & musician 1920-59) looks down on Jazz Hot covers over the years

As befits Parisian nightlife, the music went on late into the night.

A few of the many musicians who called in to play for Jazz Hot’s 80th anniversaire


Meanwhile, back in the UK, SinclairJazz is also just finishing an exhibition at Portsmouth foremost community arts centre, The Arts Lodge in Victoria Park.
Canvases up in Portsmouth of some of David's most popular photographs

Canvases up in Portsmouth of some of David’s most popular photographs

Framed photographs and canvasses have been on show, of artists ranging from old 35mm photographs including Carla Bley, Al Casey, and Ronnie Scott in the 1990s to some of David’s most iconic images of the likes of Sonny Rollins, Stan Tracey, McCoy Tyner and Charlie Watts.  The Arts Lodge has a very different feel from Le Fond’action Boris Vian, but suits jazz photography just as much.
Some of David's framed photographs on display in the Arts Lodge in Portsmouth, May-June 2015

Some of David’s framed photographs on display in the Arts Lodge in Portsmouth, May-June 2015








Merci Yves et Helene et vos amis a Paris, aussi Marie-Noelle et Gerard Corre. And to Mark Lewis & Violetta Liszka for Portsmouth.


The journey so far...


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 
Malcolm with DeeDee Bridgwater at the 2014 London Jazz Festival

Malcolm with DeeDee Bridgwater at the London Jazz Festival

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.

McCoy Tyner at the London Jazz Cafe 2003

David Sinclair

2001 image of the great Max Roach who first recorded in 1943 with Coleman Hawkins

David with Mari Wilson & Claire Martin at his 2015 Royal Albert Hall Exhibition

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.

Founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet, John Lewis, Fairfield Halls, 1991

“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)


Julian Joseph with David in 2015 – Royal Albert Hall Exhibition

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.

John Critchinson, David and Dave Green also at the Royal Albert Hall

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.

The Average White Band back in 1994


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.
My first photograph of Ronnie, which led to a lovely friendship. "A great guy"

My first photograph of Ronnie, which led to a great friendship. “A great guy”

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 !



Pete King with Elvin Jones – two much missed great friends to Ronnies and myself

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.
This copyright photograph may be used for PR use only, it can not be used for CD, DVD, Video, Record, Cassette, Poster or any other purpose without specific written permission from the copyright owner, David Sinclair.

“Cousin” Hugh Masekela

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.”
Art Themen (sax) receiving well deserved birthday congratulations from Steve Rubie at the 606 in 2008

Art Themen (sax) receiving well deserved birthday congratulations from Steve Rubie at the 606 in 2008

This website is a development from my previous jazzphotographs site. My son Malcolm 

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