In 1990 my wife and I had just moved to New York. We were living on West 3rd street between McDougal St. and 6th Ave., two doors away from the Blue Note jazz club.

Young and not so busy, I knocked on the club door one afternoon and asked to talk to the manager, Danny Bensusan I introduced myself as a photographer and neighbor, and, of course, as a jazz fan. Danny said I could come that night and take some pictures, then show him the results. I came back a few days later, after spending quite a few hours at 20/20—a rental darkroom at 20 West 20th street. I showed Danny the 11”x14” tinted blue prints I’d made. He just said, “You are un-officially the house photographer. Come and go as you will.”

For most of 1990 I would go to the club a few times a week. The staff got to know me, and so did some of the artists. I had the good fortune to shoot such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Carmen McCrae, Herbie Hancock, Tito Puente, and Angela Bofill. Occasionally, a musician would hire me for a small fee to shoot an event like an award show at the club.

I remember being especially excited one night about seeing Sarah Vaughan perform. I came to the club a little early and found it full of commotion. Danny told me, to my surprise, that I wouldn’t be shooting that night. Later I learned that Sarah had arrived at the club, sat at the bar and had a few drinks, and then disappeared, leaving a full house waiting. She never came back to sing. Sarah Vaughan died later that year.

I have never really done anything with these images. At some point that year I started getting busy as a professional photographer and just kind of let go of this golden opportunity.