Latin Jazz and The Unbroken Spirit

Talking with Allen Spatz

Born in Washington Heights, New York City, Allen Spatz was always attracted to the performing arts, music and dance. His favorite genre of music is Latin Jazz. Allen frequented many of the astounding clubs in Manhattan such as the Palladium Ballroom, El Corso. He captured the moments of wonderful artists and decided to photograph them whenever he had the opportunity.

Noticed by the founders of the International Salsa Museum of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem, no longer in existence Spatz then became the archival photographer for the museum, where he displayed his work in homage to Latino musicians.

Allen Spatz resides in The Bronx, New York. He really is a photographer to the core and has captured matchless images from many characters. His art conveys the embodiment of an eternal being and includes many views such as weddings, musicians, sport luminaries, love stories, politicians and celebrities….You name it?...

Spatz captivates in conversation with his camera and gives prime focus to characters. His inspiration is music: “In my early teens I listened and danced to Doo Whop music. Numerous songs were sung and danced to the cha cha beat; it was then that the rhythm got me. It was in my mid-teens that I began listening and dancing to Salsa (Latin) music. Just a few of the musicians who I began listening to were Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Johnny Pacheco, and Joe Cuba. Unfortunately many of the musicians have past, but I haven't stopped playing there sounds. It’s hard to remember what the first album I ever bought was but, I do remember what it was the 1st 45rpm record that I had : Hound Dog by Elvis Presley!!. If I had to put myself into a single musical genre, hands down to is in Latin Music and Cuba Music. The music whether playing in my CD changer at home or on my car is 99% salsa.” Said the photographer…

Allen captured fabulous images at the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fundraiser (September 15th 2011). The portraits are priceless. Spatz had a very colorful journey: after serving in the military, he drove a yellow cab for a couple of years. Thereafter he met someone in the manufacturing industry who hired him and eventually it led him into the field of Warehouse Management. In the latter part of 2003 a business acquaintance and he decided to start their own business, specializing in short film, documentaries, weddings photography/ videography etc. His associate is the writer/videographer and he works as the photographer: “I remember I liked to take photographs starting in my early teens. It became an enjoyment and manifested into a passion as I got older. During 2002 (and what turned out to be) my last job being a manager of a warehouse, that I severely injured my shoulder. It was in 2003 that I decided that because I love photography and felt that I was good at it, that I would take a chance and make a career change making photography my way of making an income for the future. It hasn't been easy, but I love what I do “

When taking any photographs he first considers the subject and then composing the subject as he looks through the view finder: “I always want to capture the essence of the performance. If that means taking numerous photos of a musician, I will shot until I get what I feel is the one that shows the emotion, excitement and feeling, and when I do, it gives me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. For me photographing any live performances is the most fulfilling. I had the recent privilege to be allowed to photograph a 1 night appearance in NYC of the famous Cuban Orquesta Aragon at the Metropolitan Pavilion!”

Allen drew his inspiration from Latin Jazz photographers such as Mr. Martin Cohen (Congahead). For the future the he could ergo go in the same direction: “Of course I would like to be successful in what I love to do and to make a name for myself.”

Throughout his short, but rich career, Allen Spatz has been boasted in an innumerable number of settings. His art has already captivated many fans. Spatz photography surpass age, gender and cultural partitions: “Encompassing the true nature and background of others through their diversified cultures, is a celebration of heritage, religious rites and customs. I am honored to take part in this kind of work as it has taught me to appreciate all mankind”.

Visit Allen Spatz Latin Jazz Gallery:

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