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Charles Henry James

Art and music have always gone hand-in-hand for me. Since I was a kid they have both been main attractions. When I chose the visual arts as a career, it was done to a musical background, lush and profound. I have since learned that the eyes and the ears can cooperate in producing art, so my creative growth continues into the realms of multi-media projects. When I first heard jazz, and I use the word "heard" in the special sense of having comprehended what I was hearing, it stopped me in my tracks in a corridor outside my college tavern. It was Miles Davis, and for the first time I participated in the glory of jazz. I at once heard the deep blues from which the music was born, and felt the soul of the man playing the horn. Since that day music has been an ever-growing world of expression, joy, and experimentation for me. From John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton to Eric Dolphy, then all the way out with Sun Ra and Albert Ayler, I could continue to list players who have shown me the way to the freedom of the creative spirit. Labels like Blue Note, Riverside, Arista, Impulse, and even the highly erratic ESP, stand as monuments to the talent they recorded and brought to the world.

Here in Arkansas, the Jazz Heritage Foundation is dedicated to the ongoing project that is jazz, and I'm proud to have been able to do my part in making their website a place where jazz shines on. When I was asked to do some jazz-related illustrations for the site, I jumped at the opportunity to paint jazz in the way I heard it. I hope the webpage, and my paintings, make their way into the homes of many jazz fans, and in some small way contribute to the growing jazz audience in our fair state.


Charles Henry James

Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation · PO Box 251187 · Little Rock, AR 72225-1187 US · info@arjazz.org

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