Musician Band Series Gallery

Listen to the Music Series by Minaz Jantz

'Listen to the Music' is a series of paintings & drawings expressed & inspired by live music performed on stage, behind the stage, in recording studios, and during practice. Every line, energetic curve, a splash of color, and dynamic shape is expressed and influenced by the rhythm, provoking a pictorial story about the world of live music. 

Jimmy Plays to the Queen of Chaos by Minaz Jantz

From the 1999s to 2003, I would often go to music gigs carting my sketch case filled with paper and various pencils to capture artistic possibilities with the live musical experience. Let me introduce some of the musicians that inspired my series of artworks.

Joe Mavety & The Blood Poets by Minaz Jantz

'Joe Mavety & The Blood Poets @ The Fairview Bar' My guy, James Hewett plays bass in bands & writes music with his guitar and co-writes, records, and publishes with other very talented musicians from New OrleansLAVancouver & now Nova Scotia.  He is who I followed into the dark night, dragging my art supplies as my instrument of inspiration for the night! 

  Robbie King played keyboards, Hammond & piano with many bands over his life span. Robbie had played in the '60s for Motown soundtracks like The Supremes and popular songs such as 'Wildflower'.  Robbie has also recorded on James Hewett's CD and where I got to know the magical sparkle dust he injects into the music.  Sadly Robbie has since died in 2003 in, Vancouver Canada. 

My passion for music has had me burn out lots of batteries in my little transistor radio and saved up to buy my first 8-track deck back in the '70s. When a musician devotes his/her life savings to recording his/her music, we are left with the gift of rhythmic inspiration for now and into the future. 

Joe Mavety & James Hewett @ The Rock Cafe by Minaz Jantz

Rock Cafe at Port Credit Jazz Festival by Minaz Jantz

'Rock Cafe @ Port Credit Jazz Blues Festival' Joe Mavety's band The Blood Poets traveled to the festival in Port Credit, Ontario to which I did a painting of the eclectic old hotel in the background of their outside gig which captured my attention with its dramatic diamond building enhancements and it's newly built Rock Cafe. 

Joe Mavety & The Blood Poets were inclined often to be improvising their music at times on stage and would spar each other making music on the loose! 

The drummer of the band Adam Drake is still playing drums but think he has since moved to Toronto. Joe Mavety's history goes back to playing lead guitar and writing music (Broken English, etc)  for Marianne Faithful. Joe is no longer on this earth plane and sadly passed away in Toronto in 2014.

Music Box Groove by Minaz Jantz

'Music Box Groove' was created when I was in a studio recording session. I looked at the piano as it surrealistically joined with a guitar. That's me dancing along with the guitar! I am trained in contemporary & jazz dancing and like to not only FEEL the music but love to choreograph a dance in my art-scape.

Boogie Blues Night by Minaz Jantz drawing

Boogie Blues at The Fairview by Minaz Jantz

'Boogie Blues Night' One night I was sitting at The Fairview with Joe Mavety & The Blood Poets and my drawing paper had a drop of wine fall onto the fresh blank paper where you see the part pink flower & gold bead! Took on that blob to evolve it into dancing lines connecting the band and their gear with the corner of my table. 

As the traveling mascot artist with the bands, I was a creative sideshow magnet at the clubs. I would pass the people some paper and colors to join me in drawing. The clubs' patrons really enjoyed combining LIVE music with art and talked about how it took them away to some magical place offering an experience to relate to music differently. I called it art music therapy in a bar with alcohol! Some of the waitresses would allow me to sit in areas that were off-limits to the public and even bring me a free coffee!

Live at the Cottage Bistro by Minaz Jantz

Drawing is thinking out loud!

I do not judge the drawing after a session or even really look at it while the charcoal juts across the paper. The drawings have their own nuances of impressions stimulated in the dim lights of nightclubs & studios.  As the music plays, I let the music take me away from THINKING about the day and get myself into the creative flow, letting the charcoal pencil weave and pluck out details as I am inspired spontaneously. 

I like to watch people and how they move to the sound. I am a trained dancer so I can not help myself looking at how people express themselves in their bodies and how they catch the beat OR NOT, it doesn't matter, the nightclub/bar is the place to be free in your body, to move with the band and can say it appears to be trans-formative with a little help from a few cocktails.

Mark Henry at The Yale by Minaz Jantz

Amazing to watch the energetic sparks fly between the musicians when they play together, melding their own style & interpretation of the music. Night after night I get to see the uplifting & spiritual effects live music has on people and how this feeds the musicians who perform live. It's an energetic feeding frenzy! 

LIVE Music at the Cottage Bistro by Minaz Jantz

Portable Drawing Case

The musical series was intended to challenge spontaneity and observation while improving my life drawing skills. I wanted to let the music and places influence my drawing and to tell a story. I would throw a pencil case and sketch pads into a bag but later was gifted a drawing box with handles that my sister & her guy custom-made for me to carry large pads of paper as well it was a portable tabletop surface to draw upon.

Inside The Yale bar by Minaz Jantz drawing

The lack of light, space and curious drunks serves me for freer expression of the line without many details. A few days later, I would look through my drawings and pick out what interested me most, then combined the design to fit into the final painting format. I look for gestures and characters to narrate what happened and turn up the music to relive the evening combining lots of colors, surface textures, and various mediums to make each painting unique.

Taylor James Band at The Yale by Minaz Jantz

Listening to music on any latest techno gadget does not come close to actually being in the room with the live band. It is like seeing original art up close versus seeing it in print. Being there, and up close is an energetic way to transform oneself to a higher vibration!

Incognito Rob Montgomery by Minaz Jantz

Oliver and The Elements at The Fairview by Minaz Jantz drawing

Musicians Tragedy by Minaz Jantz

'Musicians' Tragedy'  was inspired after talking to the drummer Harvey Kostenchuk who had mentioned in humorist jest, that drummers have to own and drive their own van because no one else is going to lug their instrument about town or help them set up. Musicians gauge their band's success when they no longer need to lug gear or set up on stage.

The figure in the painting lifting up the musicians' GLOBE symbolizes the public seeking out LIVE music as more bars and clubs seemingly are shutting down in expensive cities and being replaced by prerecorded sound and video. 

I painted Harvey the drummer on his red carpet tumbling alongside the musicians' snow globe filled with the rest of the band. Oliver, the band's leader is the guy who gets the money to make sure everyone gets paid at least $100.00 a guy. James the bass player likes to drive the band vehicle. Tim Porter the guitar player has lots of witty humor to entertain. All are surviving veterans of traveling bands.

Musicians Tragedy tells a story about how the live music scene has changed since o smoking, stiffer drinking & driving laws, TV, and now the internet which keeps people at home so fewer people come out in the evenings after a hard day at work.  I just had to paint a sacrificial TV staked and spiked on fire in the freshly plowed field at dusk.  

The bands travel from one gig to another with lots of sleepless nights with bad beds, hungry for nutritious food, and aching bodies from lugging gear but always they seem HOPEFUL that when they arrive at the next gig there will be grateful patrons who want the elevation of live music.  

 Recording Lullabye for Donna Lee by Minaz Jantz

'Recording Lullabye for Donna Lee' James Hewett is a songwriter and one evening I went with him for the recording of Lullabye for Donna Lee at Oliver's music recording studio in Vancouver B.C. I was captivated by the intimacy of lights bouncing off the sound console and the shapes in the studio inspiring my creative drawings in color, shape, and line. 

Listen HERE for the recorded tune:
 Lullaby for Donna Lee

Live Recording at The Yale by Minaz Jantz drawing

Live Recording @ The Yale

'Live Recording @ The Yale' I like to draw upon live music performances for inspiration, attempting to capture the music in line with bold lines, symbolic shapes, colors, and gestures. The Yale in Vancouver for a few years had decided to offer a recording studio in the basement dungeon of the 1800's building for bands to record themselves LIVE up on stage upstairs in the old bar. 

The fans spark them on to perform their best while capturing the LIVE sound on professional recordings was busy. I spent a lot of time going up and down from the dungeon recording studio which seemed like the inside of a spaceship with all the lights from switches... then stepped outside the door and pop back up to the stage to see the show and hear the band LIVE was a surreal experience.

Colin James Rehearsal at Richards on Richards by Minaz Jantz drawing

Colin James Rehearsal at Richards on Richards by Minaz Jantz drawing

Colin James at Band Practice by Minaz Jantz

'Colin James at Band Practice'  Colin James and his band were getting ready for the CD release that weekend on Richards on Richards Street in Vancouver.  I set off to the side watching the practice, sound, and light checks, and had my sketch pad handy with me quickly jotting down impressions as I was not going to be there long.

Colin James at Band Practice #2 by Minaz Jantz

I had fun with the quick sketches of Colin James and the band and had bought velvet paper to try out with pastels. It was FUN to push the pastel into the orange velvet but can say it is not the hardiest surface and must be framed right away.

Backstage at The Commodore by Minaz Jantz drawing

Backstage at The Commodore by Minaz Jantz drawing

Give the Band a Hand Oil Painting by Minaz Jantz

Give The Band a Hand, has 3 versions, first one pencil drawing, then an oil pastel, and the grand size in oils. it is inspired by the bonus of hanging out with the bands' crew backstage for performances getting a whole different perspective than on the floor with the audience. Clapping is an energy boost for the band.

The Bands Beer at The Cottage Bistro by Minaz Jantz drawing

The Bands Beer by Minaz Jantz

Sometimes the only perk for bands is the FREE BEER on tap. This particular night, The Bands Beer was created at The Cottage Bistro, a food cafe that also brought in local talent. Not any money in it but would at least get some free draft beer, some practice, and get together with other musicians and fans. I am the spider on the wall listening in to the band tales, drinking my cheap wine, and smoking a cigarette. My drawing was on a small card and later painted it out on canvas board and a fan of the band bought it from me. I was just getting into painting and was thrilled to sell!

Photos of Minaz Jantz, Jim Hewett and Bands Beer Painting SOLD

The Boyz in the Band by Minaz Jantz drawing

The Boyz in the Band Oliver & The Elements at the Fairview by Minaz Jantz

The Boyz in the Band: Oliver & The Elements @ The Fairview Bar has kept bands employed and playing every week when most other clubs have since closed their doors. I liked the locals who would come to watch and I would head to my table to draw!

Play with Soul by Minaz Jantz drawing

When James Hewett first arrived in Vancouver he met with a friendly face, Oliver Conway who had been a part of the scene at the Yale Blues Bar on Saturday putting on jam sessions for eons.  Sadly, the historical Yale Blues Bar has been closed to build condominiums... it is gone. That's sad news for all those who have a history with this place of Blues Music and all the bands employed here as a steady gig...

Play with Soul James Douglas Hewett CD Cover by Minaz Jantz

The Back Up Band by Minaz Jantz drawing

The Back Up Band by Minaz Jantz

One evening Jim was working the soundboard for The Powder Blues Band and their backup band. The private school had wealthy patrons and this night was a thank you dance for all the money donated to build the new school. 

Everyone is all slicked up in their expensive duds looking all slick but the Back-Up bands' outfits were expressive, not expensive, and more like a circus act waiting to break out. I actually liked their music better than the star act Powder Blues as it was more down-to-earth funky and not so SLICK. They caught my eye and I started to draw them into this fun large painting.

I had many fortunate experiences drawing 'LIVE' and had some very memorable visits backstage at The Commodore, Richards on Richards Club, etc. (Vancouver, B.C.) with great performers such as Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Bonnie Raitt, and Colin James. 

Art is not about the end result but about the journey and I truly am grateful for this series of artworks and the wonderfully talented musicians I have listened to and talked to.

UPDATE: Can listen to and read all the music recorded & written by various musicians from L.A, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia.

James Hewett @ Laughingbuffalomusic.com

Enjoy life and listen to your favorite tunes...Minaz

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