THE UMBRELLA

This special project of mine is about togetherness. We are all under the same umbrella. Yes, we look different, we come from different places, but we all share the one kind resemblance, we are all human beings. I would like to capture people from all walks of life for this project. If this interests you, don’t hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, feel free to view the portraits by clicking on THE UMBRELLA.

Music for the Community- 2017 Style

This year’s Community Unity Music Festival took sort of a turn this year. Mostly draped with jazz musicians, it gave way to other genre’s of music and catered to the youth of our communities. From groups like The Jacob Kelberman Band, to The Block Church Worship Group, to The Royal Excellence Step Team, to The Robert Henderson Trio who swung hard as a baby on a overcharged swing set. The music filled the afternoon with joy for those who came to hear the artists and some sorrow for anyone who’s familiar with losing someone to gun violence. That’s what this event is about. Trading guns for instruments. Too familiar in Philadelphia are the scenes of police cars parked with their roof lights glowing, but no sirens. that only means that someone has already died. Carol Faulkner, the event organizer holds this event every summer in West Philadelphia’s Clark Park at at 43rd and Chester in Philadelphia, and YES, IT’S FREE!

The weather this year couldn’t have been more pleasant, the mango juice from the vendors any sweeter, and the music any more pleasant. Quizzy came with his R&B/Hip Hop brand and brought all the young ladies down to the front row, while Barbara Walker expressed her rendition of The Theme from Sesame Street in a bluesy flow that had the crowd singing along. Jazz, the female comedian and MC had people laughing while sharing duties with WRTI radio host J. Michael Harrison on the intro mic. The afternoon blended into the dusk of the evening while the musicians continued to brighten the spirits of the crowd with their own illuminating nuances. All-in-All, this was a superb occasion. Make it out next year if you couldn’t make the trek this year. The music is always uplifting, the food is on point, and maybe next year you will be able to tell someone else with your own words what you heard that day. Below I have added my photographic documentation of the days events. I hope the images move you and peak your interest that you will come back for some more visuals next summer. Thank you.

 

The Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Saturday nights in Philadelphia usually brings  big name to to town for the Jazz community. This weekend was no exception. Ravi Coltrane, the son of legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, came into town to bring some warmth to a city full of Brotherly Love. He brought along some friends that are proven in their own right. On guitar we have guitarist Adam Rogers, Dezron Douglas on bass, and E.J. Strickland on the drum kit. These guys brought their A game to town with a mixture of ballads such as Lush Life to the classic fan choice of the evening, Giant Steps. To be in a family of royalty with the last name of Coltrane, Ravi is a very humble individual. Talking with all the musicians and hanging around to also enjoy the jam session that followed his show. It’s always a good thing when you can see musicians of all walks of life sharing and having fun.

We Love You Elvin

Growing up in Morrisville, Pa, we were a close knit community.  Some families were larger than others, and we pretty much knew all of the members. Myself, we had six kids. Other families that I remember back then, growing up in the 1970’s had 6,7, and 8 kids. The Velez’s had 7 kids, and I knew them all. When I heard that the eldest was going through a tough time of his life, I felt that there would be a lot of love in the room for this occasion. Was I wrong? Nope. As I pulled up to the catering hall, there were people outside mingling. The parking lot was packed similar to a wedding reception. This however, was more than a wedding reception. This was a celebration of family, friendship, love, and life.

Elvin has bladder cancer, and although while giving a speech, he didn’t know the technical name for it, we all know the results all too well of this terrible sickness. We’ve all lost someone to this, but this warrior is here for the full fight. If you’ve ever met Elvin, you would never know he was under any doctor’s care. He can brighten a room of 500 people. If the lights blew, you could read a book by standing next to Elvin. That’s what people showed up for, to be near Elvin and show him that he’s the reason for some of the happiness in their lives. His family showed gratitude with some great food and a truckload of door prizes. If you didn’t come, you missed out on enough prizes to send Oprah’s crowd home with. In these images, I tried to show the vibe of the room that evening with what seemed to be over 300 people, all in celebration of Elvin. I saw some people I’ve seen recently and some I haven’t seen since I rode a Big Wheel. Talking and laughing, food and drink, family and friends, yes, if you know Elvin, if you grew up with Elvin, if you work with Elvin and you missed this occasion, reach out to him. Keep fighting Elvin. You have a whole group of soldiers behind you.

To see more images from this event, click on this link. BEEF AND BEER

 

 

 

Demanding Respect; Pulling Trump’s Card

In the shadow of last Fall’s election, women are filled up to the gills with the rhetoric of Donald Trump. He continually put down women, handicapped, and those from other lands that are here only to try for a better life. Today, the lava spilled over the edges. Not just in the Unite States, but the whole world joined in solidarity to express their dislike of the forty fifth President of the United Stated. Never in my life have I seen an election in this country effect the world. The country at this time is even more divided. Friends losing friends, religions are being looked at with more scrutiny than ever before.

The following images that I captured are only an example of the emotion. You’ll see tears, you’ll see smiles, and you’ll see creative ways that individuals chose to express their feelings by way of signs and other verbal shouts. I don’t want to use too many words to explain what happened today, but I would like you to take your time viewing the images. Maybe you feel these issues don’t matter to you because you’re not a women, but this goes beyond that. If you are reading this, a woman birthed you. She had that right, but people are afraid those rights and other freedoms are about to go way of the dinosaur.