Jack Hirschorn is a lifelong photographer, a respected cameraman and a member of the exclusive International Cinematographer’s Guild. He is also a music connoisseur of the highest order and has melded his love of music with his passion for photography, devoting much of his work to concert photography. He is an ardent supporter of the eclectic Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, where 8 years of his photos are on display as part of the Jalopy’s 10th Anniversary Celebration until October 28th.
In the winter of 2008, when I first showed up at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn, NY, owned by Geoff and Lynette Wiley, I had no idea, as a photographer and old time country guitarist, that it would become the centerpiece of my creative life. At first, I just listened, soaking up the vibes of the old wooden floor, the golden ring of lights around the stage, the slightly dusty air, the out of tune piano, and the old instruments for sale in the dim yellow light that would become my companion for all of the 15,000 black and white photos that I would shoot over the next 8 years. Throughout those 8 years, I’ve struggled to show those magical private moments when artists are lost in their music, having forgotten about the audience and me with my camera.
Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton
My first photo at the Jalopy was of 19 year old Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton. It was 2AM on a Wednesday night at the end of “Roots & Ruckus”, the wildly popular “pass the hat” concert series organized by musician and Jalopy stalwart, Feral Foster. I was sitting on the wooden floor in front of the stage, exhausted after a long night of great music and exciting photography. I saw Jerron turn to tell a story and my heart stopped. The light was hitting him in such a way that I knew it would make for a beautiful photograph. It was a moment I had to shoot. That photo is one of the seven photos at my current exhibition at the 10th Anniversary of The Jalopy Theatre.
Another moment I was excited to capture is of Ms. Moselle Spiller of the band, Crushed Out. Moselle was furiously playing drums on a brutally hot “Roots & Ruckus” summer night and everybody in the audience was bopping along in the pews. I was in the back of the theatre in a soaked tee shirt with a very long lens that allows me to take extreme close-up photos in low light. Moselle was taking an extended solo, drumsticks flying, and I was determined to capture the cymbal in vertical mode. I kept shooting, trying to time my shots with Moselle’s movements. Finally, I got it and was satisfied!
Moselle Spiller of Crushed Out
In the Jalopy Theatre & Jalopy Tavern next door, Geoff and Lynette have created a community where musicians and audience share their love for traditional & ethnic singer songwriter music that NYC has not seen the likes of since the 1960’s. The Jalopy Theatre is a 21st century version of Izzy Young’s “The New York Folklore Center,” the epicenter of the American folk music scene in the 50’s and 60’s.
Find out more about Izzy Young’s 1960 The New York Folklore Center