Ken Franckling and McDonald Wright – Visual Jazz

Ken Franckling and McDonald Wright
Visual Jazz
by S. H. Watkins, Sr.

Dizzy Gillispie - Photo Copyright 2000 Franklin and McDonald The works of two Rhode Island-based photographers will be in the spotlight in January and February with a gallery exhibition called “Visual Jazz.” The presenters were kind enough to provide us with four samples of the fine photography for inclusion with this article. The month-long exhibition begins January 16, 2001 at the CapitolArts Gallery, Suite #49 in the historic Arcade building in downtown Providence and will focus on works documenting jazz and blues genres.

Photographers Ken Franckling and McDonald Wright specialize in capturing the spirit and “moments of truth” found in jazz performance. Sometimes they photograph side by side, yet come up with distinct interpretations and visions that complement each other’s work.

Chuck Mangione - Photo Copyright 2000 Franklin and McDonald “In January, award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns will turn more of America’s eyes and ears onto the role jazz has played in shaping America’s cultural values throughout the 20th century through his JAZZ series on public television. In similar fashion, we want to spotlight the distinctive, yet complementary visions of two artists whose work has added to the legacy of great jazz photography in America and around the world,” said Bob Rizzo, director of CapitolArts Providence.

Lionel Hampton - Photo Copyright 2000 Franklin and McDonald Franckling’s black & white and color works selected for Visual Jazz include timeless images of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Sarah Vaughan, Gerry Mulligan, Cassandra Wilson and blues legends Sippie Wallace and Eric Clapton.

Wright’s selected color photography has a painterly abstract quality resulting from multiple imaging in the camera. His subjects include Slide Hampton, Renee Rosnes, Geri Allen, Ahmad Jamal, John Scofield, Gato Barbieri, Wallace Roney, Jon Lucien Dominique Eade and Ben Allison.

Dave Holland - Photo Copyright 2000 Franklin and McDonald Ken Franckling is a veteran arts writer and free-lance photographer. He covers the jazz scene throughout the Northeast with occasional journeys to other regions in pursuit of essential musical moments. His work since 1983 includes some of the most riveting photographs taken of Miles Davis during the final five years of his life. His images have been published extensively and are in many private collections.

McDonald Wright is a native of Henderson, N.C., and a 1996 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. He began a serious focus on the New England jazz scene in 1998. Over the past three summers his work intensified as he built a solid body of personal work, primarily at concerts in Boston, Newport and Providence.

Visual Jazz is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from January 16 to February 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 18.

All photography on this page is ©2000 Ken Franckling and McDonald Wright.
Unauthorized use or reporduction without explicit written permission is strictly prohibited.