Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Portrait of the Blues by Paul Trynka; photography by Val Wilmer

Photographer (and journalist) Val Wilmer is no Johnny- er- Frankie-come-lately to the music scene. For over 20 years her photographs of blues and jazz musicians have graced the pages of too many magazines and books to mention. An Englishwoman, her first photos here were taken in various British venues in the ’60s. (Terrific shots of Koko Taylor, Wolf, Memphis Slim and others!) In the ’70s she began touring the States and taking photos of people and places that illustrate the wellsprings of the blues. Interspersed among pictures of the famous, e.g., Lowell Fulson (having breakfast with Margie Evans) and Willie Dixon, are photos of locals like Big John Wrencher playing on Maxwell Street and Moses “Whispering” Smith playing harmonica for some kids on his Baton Rouge porch.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published