Category Archives: Musicians Photography


Muddy, Horns & The Clock

“Muddy, Horns & The Clock” From my town to yours…I am using the public mural designed by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, the holiday horns hanging over State Street from Macy’s, and the original Marshall Field & Co. clock to send out my Happy New Year wishes to all.

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I Just Published A Book!

I am very excited and pleased to report that I just self-published my first book. “10 Years In SPACE” is a fine art photography approach to documenting the wide variety of music performers who appeared at SPACE, the music hall in Evanston, IL during its first 10 years.

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Merry Christmas

Silent night…Peace to all. Merry Christmas

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Thanks JRAC-A Slideshow

Here is a slideshow that documents some of the 45 performances that Chicago’s Chris Anderson organized for his creation, the Jazz Record Art Collective – JRAC – during 2018. The guy never sleeps. Knows his […]

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Behind The Country Farm Stand

It was almost Fall. Time for sweet corn and ripe tomatoes at this favorite farm stand. Add some potatoes, fresh garlic, a few cucumbers and zucchini, then rush home for the best salad of the season.

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Announcing A Gallery Exhibit Reception for 6 Tillis Images

The exhibit includes 6 Harvey Tillis photographs on display and for sale as large archival pigment prints of street photography in Chicago. They are “Broadway Detour”, “Family Outing”, “Blue Line Bus Stop”, “Sons Salute Dad at Blues Fest”, “Serenading Sam’s Wife” and “Superpawn Chicago”.

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Reminded Of Man Ray

Reminded Of Man Ray by Harvey Tillis

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I Shoot What I See

“I Shoot What I See” by Harvey Tillis depicts sections and angles of Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavillion against nearby Chicago architecture. Available now in the SHOP

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Everything Old Is New Again

“Everything Old Is New Again” depicts the Michigan Avenue side of The Chicago Cultural Center, formerly the Chicago Public Library. This is a major center of activities including free concerts and art exhibits. 

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Sons Pay Tribute To Dad At Blues Fest

Salute to legendary blues man Carey Bell by his son’s Lurrie and Steve with help from Dave Specter during the 2018 Chicago Blues Fest. The evening featured tributes to Delmark Records and its artists for 65 years of great jazz and blues music.

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Xpress Food Mart

This corner grocery store was the only building at an intersection in a far southside, low income suburb. The other three corners were empty lots. No customer traffic outside. Dark inside, yet open for business.

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Two Office Buildings

The space between these two buildings is what attracted me. If I could convert the colors to BW, make the image more graphic and a little abstract, I could get to where this scene made me feel. See? Pre-visualizing works!

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Super Pawn, Chicago

A pawn shop on Fullerton Avenue in Chicago at the end of the day. Shops like this are scattered throughout the city and cater to a wide variety of cultures, ethnic groups, social and income classes. They may often be open until midnight six nights each week plus at least 5 hours on Sunday.

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Hot Summer City Night

It was a humid, hot evening as we enjoyed another couple while eating on the patio at one of the best, funkiest Cuban restaurant’s I’ve ever been to, 90 Miles From Cuba, on Armitage. Loud music, noisy people, delicious empanadas, ceviche and a bottle of red. Dusk turned to night. People, cars and kids floated by. So memorable. A special time.

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Night Music

“Night Music” Eric Schneider and Matt Ferguson at Andy’s Jazz Club for the 9th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief. I have applied my changing vision and skills to documenting this fundraising event all nine years. 14 different bands donated their talents and 5 different venues donated their rooms all around Chicago. Great music for a worthy cause.

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Singing Mr Soul For Valentine’s Day

The Saalik Ziyad Group performs Sam Cooke’s 1963 album, “Mr. Soul”, at Chris Anderson’s Jazz Record Art Collective (JRAC) in Chicago.

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Party’s Over

Party’s Over by Harvey Tillis. A night of jazz had ended, everyone gone. Closing time. Use a variety of filters and adjustments to make the image feel the way I felt. Blur the lines between straight photography and a sketch.

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“Intersection” is a simple study of lines, space, and meaning set against the open sky. There are times when simple is a nice break from moody, mysterious, dark or busy. That time for me is now.

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Corner Newsstand, Florence – 1978

Here is a sample of my street photography before I knew what it was, before I knew I was a practitioner.

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Broadway Detour

Night photography is my favorite. Rain makes it even better. Creative options abound. Time to explore when shooting and again when processing.

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Between Sets

“Between Sets” – This image was processed using a variety of filters and adjustments to create my version of a scene and style Lautrec might have painted in a Montmartre night club in the 1890s. 

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Chance Of Snow

“Chance Of Snow” A winter scene in Chicago. Sometimes it takes a while to tease out the look and feel of an image. Musicians might experience this when they see sheet music they want to play, but haven’t worked through it enough to make it sound the way they feel it should sound. Same is true with photos I create.

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Happy New Year 2018!

Shot on a perfect chilly early winter night. On Lake Michigan while cruising off Navy Pier. Fireworks were a perfect addition. Happy New Year to all.

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Waiting. For her ride? For friends meeting here, in front of a music club? For the bus? Just contemplating and regrouping before proceeding with her life? I’ll never know.

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Client Will Be Right Down

The title of this image is self explanatory. I was there, waiting, looked up, saw this, shot it, and as I checked my exposure settings the elevator doors opened and out popped my client.

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Still Life With Drum Set, Painting, and Bricks

OK, this is not a bowl of fruit lit by a candle on a table. So what? I’m calling it a still life. Wikipedia says, “A still life (plural: still lifes) is…

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Stage Hands

Stage hands remove, re-set, test, then wait to do it again, and again.

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Ms. Reid

“Equally adept in classical and jazz contexts, Tomeka Reid predominantly finds herself in experimental and improvisatory settings and composes for a wide range of instrumentation, from big band to chamber ensemble.”

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Linda’s Flower Shop

And here is my spin on a photo that really looks like a painting of a place I didn’t know existed before, but sure helped me out when I wanted to do something thoughtful and fun for a friend. 

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Paris 1890’s Jazz Club Musicians

Paris 1890’s Jazz Club Musicians by Harvey Tillis. Some say this is a long lost sketch found in the stacks of a Paris library is by a little known artist of the day, Marvin Lowtreck, while he was living in poverty in Paris in the late 1800s… And, the story goes, some other guy copied his style and name and became better known. Well maybe.

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Style In The Rain

Style In The Rain by Harvey Tillis. One of many large used furniture, appliance and electronics stores scattered around the city. Late at night in a rain storm.

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The Pavaroti/Hadid/Picasso Guy

Robben Ford by Harvey Tillis. Once in a great while, you hear someone much much better, significantly more masterful, more brilliant than all the other excellent musicians. That’s this guy.

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Serenading Sam’s Wife

Serenading Sam’s Wife by Harvey Tillis. Sam hires musicians every Mother’s Day to play for his lovely wife, the mother of his children. Afterwards he takes them to play for his own mother.

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Clark Sommers At JAM 2017

Clark Sommers During Jazz Appreciation Month 2017.

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Four Portraits In April

April brought me to some music projects including portraits of these four special people.

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End Of A Night

End Of A Night by Harvey Tillis. Joe Segal opened the Jazz Showcase in the early 1940’s. I’ve been to several of the club’s locations . Like this one best.  There’s music every night and a matinee on Sunday. I like it late into the second set on weeknights. That’s when this glow comes over the scene. 

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Packed House

Packed House by Harvey Tillis. This scene is at Chicago’s Green Mill during the 1:00 AM Saturday night set. Music continues until 5. It just gets better and better.

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Portrait of Ryan Cohan

Portrait of Ryan Cohan by Harvey Tillis. It’s always a treat to hear Ryan Cohan, one of the most talented jazz musicians around. His work is always special whether playing, arranging or composing .

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Wojo At The Bike Shop

Wojo At The Bike Shop by Harvey Tillis. John Wojciechowski, known to his friends as Wojo, performing his original music at Chris Anderson’s Ancien Cycles & Cafe on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.

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No Place Like SPACE

No Place Like SPACE by Harvey Tillis. Lucinda Williams Performs at SPACE in Evanston, IL.

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Mr. & Mrs. Moss Play The Blues

Kate & Nick Moss play the blues at SPACE in Evanston, IL

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Mr. Clarke The Liberator

Stanley Clarke Performs at SPACE in Evanston, IL

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The Charlie Brown Christmas Gig

Quentin Coaxum Quintet Performs Vince Guaraldi’s Chas Brown Christmas at JRAC in Chicago.

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Mr. Collier

Mr. Collier by Harvey Tillis. Isaiah Collier performing at the 2016 10th Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago.

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Tito Plays Peruvian With Juan

Tito Plays Peruvian With Juan by Harvey Tillis. Peruvian jazz was featured at Constellation in Chicago. Chinchano is lead by Juan Pastor and includes Stu Mindeman, Patrick Mulcahy, Tito Carrillo, Rich Moore.

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Women Of The Blues Gallery Exhibit

Here are four images I was fortunate to have included in a wonderful exhibit that opened the week of Chicago’s Blues Fest; Ann Harris, Brittany Howard, Sharon Lewis, and Shemekia Copeland. Lynn Orman Weiss organized […]

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The JRAC Musicians & Artists Showcase

The JRAC Musicians & Artists Showcase by Harvey Tillis. Here is a portfolio slideshow of musicians and artists who have performed at JRAC, The Jazz Record Art Collective, over the past almost 3 years.

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Zebulun Barnow at the Uptown Underground

Zebulun Barnow At The Uptown Underground by Harvey Tillis. I first met Zeb when he performed with Big Time, the Tom Waits tribute band, and I quickly became one of his biggest fans. He is endlessly animated, creative and musically talented. Fun to be around too.

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Soon Famous Art

Soon Famous Art by Harvey Tillis. Paper pasted on a wall ready to be painted into a notable artwork. I often attend music events where different artists create paintings in response to the music. This image was created before the set began. I like it all as is. 

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The Chi-Town Jazz Festival For Hunger Relief

This slideshow documents the 2016 7th Annual Chi-Town Jazz Festival Supporting Hunger Relief in Chicago. World-class musicians donated their talents, venues donated their space, and volunteers worked together to raise money for charities serving the food […]

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