BARRY BENDEL’S JAZZ PHOTO EXHIBITION
17 OCTOBER- 1 NOVEMBER
PREVIEW: 17 OCTOBER 5PM-7PM
Barry started watching live jazz in 1955. The first concert he attended was by the Chris Barber Band. After two years in America, where he was exposed to recordings by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, he turned more and more to modern jazz. On his return to London, he was lucky enough to see both of Duke Ellington and Count Basie jazz orchestras. In 1959, he became one of the original members of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Gerrard Street, Soho, and was hooked. For two years, as a well-paid Adman, Barry went there twice a week. Early performers at the club were American tenor sax stars Zoot Sims and Dexter Gordon. At the club, he got to know young photographers David Redfern, Val Wilmer and John “Hoppy” Hopkins. He was so inspired watching what they were doing, he bought his first 35mm camera and started taking photos from a discreet distance. At the end of 1962, he spent eight months in Seattle, with the intention of settling there. Unfortunately, he received a letter from Uncle Sam, inviting him for a holiday in Vietnam. He fled back to London, but before he did, he took a couple of shots of Miles Davis at the Penthouse Club. Soon after that, he got at least one good close-up of Sarah Vaughan at a concert in the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. David Redfern had just started his own agency which supplied photos to magazines. Once in a while, he would purchase Barry’s negatives and sell them under his own name. No matter, the silly man had acquired a serious gambling habit, and was often in need of cash to the point that he sold his camera in 1966. Eventually, six years later, his downward spiral was halted when he married a strong woman. His advertising career continued happily until one day, he became probably the oldest art director and it ended in 2002 when he retired (not really) to Southsea. Since then, he’s written a book about Portsmouth Football Club and another about Movie Stars. During the past twenty years Barry has kept his love of images by painting and drawing as well as taking photographs in clubs and at jazz festivals around Europe. He believes that he has shots of every local musician he saw during his years as a resident here. His love of the music goes on: by the end of this year he will self-publish a 400-page book entitled “Jazz Notes.” It is full of pictures and anecdotes about the jazz people he has seen, met, and sometimes photographed. You will meet some of them when you come to Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre during the exhibition.