Jennifer Noble

I have spent a lifetime being passionate about the blues. Growing up in Chicago put me in the perfect place for the music I hold dear to my heart. In the mid 1990’s, I decided to take up photography and hit the Chicago blues clubs two to three times a week. The reason for this was as a teenager I lived in the same town as Muddy Waters and used to see him perform often along with Willie Dixon, Junior Wells and so many other Chicago legends but I never took one photo.

So fast forward into the mid-90s, I decided to focus on capturing as many legendary blues artists through my camera lense that either lived in Chicago or were just passing through. As a result of my passion, my photographs have been published all over the world and CD and DVD’s including Delmark Records of which I am probably most proud of.

I have always supported woman in blues because I felt there always needed to be more woman blues artists out there and by capturing their live performances and sharing with the artist, it might help them to promote themselves and keep on sharing their artistry. I grew up seeing Koko Taylor more than any other artist besides Lonnie Brooks. Woman blues artists seem to sing with such passion and that makes them exciting to photograph. The list is long but here are a few I have photographed. Nellie Travis, Zora Young, Deitra Farr, Chick Rodgers, Mavis Staples, Peaches Staten, Joanna Connor, Jackie Scott, Candye Kane, Demetria Taylor, Holle Thee Maxwell, Delores Scott, Diunna Greenleaf, Shemekia Copeland, Dona Oxford, Mary Lane, Big Time Sarah, Grana Louise, Teeny Tucker, Sharon Lewis and Shirley King. I now reside in London but get back to Chicago for Chicago Blues Fest and am able to photograph many artists for Chicago Blues Guide of which I am proud to be the director of photography since it’s debut in 2008. Being a blues photographer has taken me around the world to amazing blues festivals and given me so much. For that I am thankful.

— Jennifer Noble

 

LINKS

Jennifer Noble on Facebook | Blues Bucket on Facebook | Twitter

| www.chicagobluesguide.com

 

PHOTOS

Jennifer Noble - Big Time Sarah

Big Time Sarah

February 18, 2007 © Jennifer Noble

Even though Big Time Sarah was a regular at Blues on Halsted in Chicago for the past two decades, she travelled around the world sharing her blues talent. When Big Time Sarah takes the stage she takes charge and transforms your evening into a memorable experience from the raunchy to the sublime. She always calls up a male volunteer on stage to help her with a song and then has a little too much fun with them if you know what I mean. She loves it too. At the end of her show the crowd is thoroughly entertained. Born Sarah Streeter in Mississippi, she came to Chicago with her family in 1960 and began singing in church. She started singing the blues as a teenager. Sarah’s early starts in the Chicago blues scene were singing in Chicago blues clubs with Chicago blues band The Aces, Magic Slim and Buddy Guy also encouraged her by giving her stage time. In the late 70’s Sarah toured with pianist Sunnyland Slim and then pianist Erwin Helfer, though most of her performing was done in Chicago blues clubs such as B.L.U.E.S., Kingston Mines, and Buddy Mulligan’s. You can find most of Sarah’s music on Delmark Records. She was a larger-than-life personality and a very talented blues lady. Chicago will miss you Sarah. Thanks for all the great music.

 

Jennifer Noble - Demetria Taylor

Demetria Taylor

Chicago Blues Fest, Petrillo Music Shell, Chicago, Illinois June 8, 2010 © Jennifer Noble

This was Demetria Taylor’s first time performing with her band on the main stage at Chicago Blues Fest. I can’t imagine how proud and happy she must have felt. She is the daughter of Eddie Taylor, Jr. who helped define the Chicago Blues sound that is legendary around the world. Her debut release on Delmark, called “Bad Girl” has taken her over to Europe a few times. I have been fortunate to be on the first European Blues Cruise where Demetria performed with Mike Wheeler, Toronzo Cannon, Omar Coleman, John Primer, Peaches Staten and others. As a blues photographer I look forward to seeing Demetria perform for many years to come. And who knows how many Chicago blues superstars will be on her next CD release. You can catch her performing at Blue Chicago on a regular basis.

 

Jennifer Noble - Koko Taylor, Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis and Koko Taylor

Millenium Park, Chicago, Illinois – July 17, 2004 © Jennifer Noble

This was an exciting celebration as it was the grand opening week of Millennium park. Koko Taylor had many health issues during the last few years of her life but she when she got well she was up and performing again. When Koko Taylor got on stage she always gave it her all as she loved performing for the people and loved singing the blues. It was her life. When Chicago books many blues artists at once to perform on stage they always seem to support each other and after their single performances they all come together for a big jam. Sharon Lewis always admired Koko Taylor and I could see how excited Sharon was to be on the big new stage at Millennium Park with Koko Taylor. They both gave each other energy that day and put on an amazing show. Koko Taylor, an artist who gave 110 percent at every show. I was lucky enough to see her perform several times a year from the late 1970’s until her passing in 2009 days before the Chicago Blues Fest. Koko Taylor was an artist I saw throughout her life more than any other blues artist and every single performance was a good time. She was and always will be a Chicago treasure.

 

Jennifer Noble - Nora Jean Bruso

Nora Jean Bruso

Chicago Blues Festival, Juke Joint Stage, Chicago, Illinois – June 10, 2011 © Jennifer Noble

Nora Jean Bruso is a powerhouse of a singer. She is also a talented songwriter and has written over 700 songs. She lives in Indiana but thankfully comes to Chicago often to perform. She has been performing since 1976 when she left Missisippi to come up to Chicago. Her father was a blues singer, her mother sang gospel and her grandmother ran a juke joint. She used to sneak down to her grandmother’s juke joint and listen to the artists performing and feel in love with Howlin’ Wolf and her love of blues have stayed with her to this day. This stage is almost to small for her powerful voice as the main stage at Chicago Blues Fest is more suited for her and where I have also photographed her. If you ever get a chance to see this amazing artist please go. She really sings the blues like nobody else.

 

jennifer Noble - Tomiko Dixon

Tomiko Dixon

Petrillo Music Shell, Willie Dixon’s 100th Birthday Celebration, Chicago Blues Festival – June 14, 2015 © Jennifer Noble

Tomiko Dixon was honoring her grandfather the legendary Willie Dixon in this photo. Willie Dixon would have been 100 years old along with Muddy Waters. Other artists featured were Billy Branch, Dixon family members, Sugar Blue, John Watkins and others. It was exciting to see young Dixon family members like Tomiko Dixon loving the blues enough to perform in front of thousands. Tomiko sang, the blues classic, “My Babe” solo and then performed “Wang Dang Doodle” with Dixon family members and others. Let’s hope she continues to be passionate enough about the blues to keep performing. With her grandfather being one of the greatest songwriters in blues history she has plenty of music to choose from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chick Rodgers