Michael Baumann is one of about 80 local artists participating in the two day 2014 RiverArts Studio Tour (April 26/27 from 11am to 5pm). Visit his and other studios to meet the artists, see their work places and creations.
After a career in commercial photography and design Michael is focusing on his personal photographic passions. Michael likes to observe, experience and capture unique moments in time.
In addition to observing & photographing life on the streets in New York City, enjoying nature and photographing landscapes, Michael’s latest project (for the last 9 months and continuing) is hanging out many long nights in Harlem jazz dives listening to great music, photographing and sometimes also video recording musicians in their element away from the limelight. Michael is not interested in visiting established high-end jazz performances, he is fascinated by places where authentic jazz is happening … the raw … the real jazz and blues on the edge.
Many of the musicians Michael listens to and photographs have been playing on records and touring the world with superstars (like David Bowie, Ron Ayers, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Duran Duran, Madonna, Blondie, Gregory Porter, etc), they often jam at Paris Blues, play at The Post, Bill’s Place, Red Rooster, the Cotton Club, etc. and have interesting stories to tell. Music is their life. Michael is ‘right there’ and very close to the musicians with his camera since he photographs mostly with a 14mm to 24mm lens. His jazz photos are personal and intimate.Michael is photographing mostly in black and white since he prefers the abstraction, contrast and dramatic effect of black, white and gray tones, “but using monochrome or color depends on the subject matter, composition and also the feeling one likes to convey.” Michael adds: “My jazz photos are almost all in black and white since that just seems to fit better to jazz.”