John Rogers: New York City Music Photographer
John Rogers has a way of catching his subjects mid-move, at the moment when energy is being activated. If a singer smiles, he gets them in the act of raising their eyebrows; when a drummer swipes for a tom drum, Rogers catches them gathering the conviction to render the blow.
John Rogers started traveling to New York City from his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., when he was 18 years old. The camera helped him consider the complexity of his personal devotion, as a fan, to the brightness and subtle glances that carry performances. He slept in cheap hotels or parks, heard a different show every night, and soaked up stories from musicians. Rogers moved to New York in 2003 knowing only a handful of players on New York’s avant-garde downtown scene, but eventually became close to figures like Yusef Lateef, Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Chris Potter and Fred Hersch. He established himself as a preeminent photographer and documenter of the city’s jazz ecosystem; Rogers now contributes regularly to NPR Music, ECM Records, DownBeat magazine, and Jazz Times. His work was featured in the 2014 Grammy Awards memorial section, Artforum, and John was the artists photographer for Jason and Alicia Hall Moran’s BLEED installation at the 2012 Whitney Biennial. In 2013 John had his first solo gallery show at Union Arts in Washington DC, as well as having six images currently in the Village Vanguards permanent photography collection. In 2019-2020 John's work was exhibited in both the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Whitney Museum Of American Art in New York, as part of Jason Moran Staged. John's work was part of a large mural as well as featured in three large slideshows throughout the exhibit.
John Rogers is a masterful yet understated improviser, whose instruments are his deep insight and his camera. Visual artists, married couples, musicians, or actors seeking photographs all have recognized John as someone who loves people, the scene, the city, and is genuinely part of a world that few get to experience.
Check out John's writing:
- A History Of Phone Calls With Yusef Lateef
- Yusef Lateef (by John Rogers)
- Dinners And Drum Music: A Friendship With Paul Motian
- How 'Fresh Air' Changed My Life
- How To Stay Awake At A Billy Bang Show
NPR Music, WBGO FM, ECM Records, Blue Note Records, Downbeat, Jazz Times, ARTFORUM, The Village Voice, The Wire UK, OZY Media, The Guardian UK, Fully Altered Media, New York City Opera, Columbia University, CAM Jazz, Anzic Records, Highnote Records, Aum Fidelity, Motema Records, Palmetto Records, Sunnyside Records, Clean Feed Records, Cuneiform Records, Universal Japan, Deutsche Grammophon, The 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Intakt Records, Pi Recordings, Smalls Live/Smalls Jazz Club, The Village Vanguard, NYC Jazz Record, Arbors Records, MaxJazz, Northside Music Festival, L Magazine, The Korea Society , Mark Edward Inc, TriBeCa Performing Arts Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y TriBeCa, Loveland Records, Brooklyn Conservatory, Toyota, The Nashville Scene, Sunnyside Records, Steinway/Listen Magazine, Musicworks Magazine, Art in America Magazine