Chance Encounters (feat. John Rogers)

John Rogers, who first stepped into Lucy’s Record Shop when he was just 14-years-old, is an accomplished writer and photographer who useshis camera to document both the jazz scene and the streets of New YorkCity. In this episode you’ll hear how growing up in Nashville – fromseeing live music at Lucy’s and playing in his own bands to drinking coffee at Bongo Java and collecting records from The Great Escape -influenced his life and art. You’ll also hear about the numerous inexplicable and mysterious coincidences that manifest in his life and bring him closer to the people, scene, and city he loves and admires.

John Rogers started traveling to New York City from his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., when he was 18 years old. The camera helped him consider the complexity of his personal devotion, as a fan, to the brightness and subtle glances that carry performances. He slept in cheap hotels or parks, heard a different show every night, and soaked up stories from musicians. Rogers moved to New York in 2003 knowing only a handful of players on New York’s avant-garde downtown scene, but eventually became close to figures like Yusef Lateef, Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Chris Potter and Fred Hersch. He established himself as a preeminent photographer and documentor of the city’s jazz ecosystem.

John Rogers has a way of catching his subjects mid-move, at the moment when energy is being activated. If a singer smiles, he gets them in the act of raising their eyebrows; when a drummer swipes for a tom drum, Rogers catches them gathering the conviction to render the blow.

John recently released a book of his work, Old & New Dreams, with introduction by Dawoud Bey.

Photo of John Rogers courtesy of Rowan Renee.

Show Notes

For full show show notes, visit the Lucy’s Record Shop site.

Wally Pleasant – “Sons of Bob Dylan
Low – “Hey Chicago
Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian – “On the Street Where You Live
Versus – “Be-9
Lambchop – “So I Hear You’re Moving (Intro)

Lucy's Record Shop
Lucy's Record Shop

Hear the stories behind the legendary 90’s Nashville record store and all-ages punk club.