Lauded rock and roll photographer Jay Blakesberg has added a pair of new stops for his dynamic storytelling/slideshow event, Between The Dark and Light. In addition to his previously announced engagement on Tuesday, November 27th, at the Miami Beach JCC, Blakesberg will bring Between The Dark and Light to the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, FL on November 28th (with special guest Oteil Burbridge of Dead & Company) and Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa, FL on November 29th (alongside two sets of Dead music from local tribute act Uncle John’s Band).
Between The Dark and Light is a dynamic slideshow/storytelling event Jay Blakesberg sharing stories from his amazing 40-year career photographing the Grateful Dead and other high-profile bands. During this 70-minute presentation, the charismatic and funny Blakesberg regales attendees with photos and stories related to his epic rock and roll American Dream story.
Over the last few years, this presentation has entertained thousands of Deadheads and music fans around the country. Between The Dark and Light kicks off with Blakesberg’s colorful teenage years growing up in suburban New Jersey in the late 1970s, when he and his friends’ lived solely for the thrill of sex, drugs and rock and roll. He describes how his love for photography began in 1978 after his father gave him an old Pentax camera to shoot the Grateful Dead performing at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Back then, Blakesberg simply wanted to create memorabilia to plaster on his bedroom walls and began obsessively seeing and shooting his favorite bands, from Hot Tuna to Eric Clapton to The Grateful Dead to Neil Young to The Who to Bob Dylan, among many others.
He then shares how he embarked on a wild psychedelic ride after high school, joining the music-loving circus of freaks and misfits: the Deadheads. In the mid-80s, he settled in San Francisco and began to build a professional career as an in-demand commercial rock photographer whose work has been published in preeminent books and magazines (including Rolling Stone, Guitar Player, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Relix – to name a few) thousands of times.
This engaging, fast-moving presentation grants the audience an “all-access” pass to his many years photographing the Dead—first as a fan, then as a journalist and, ultimately, as an insider working for the band. Between The Dark and Light includes Blakesberg’s story of serving as the official photographer for the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary “Fare Thee Well” concerts that took place in 2015.
Today, Jay Blakesberg—the once shutterbug hobbyist—is one of the music industry’s most sought-after rock photographers, known for capturing the explosive energy of the live music experience as well as the intimate moments of one-on-one portrait photography. Most significantly, Blakesberg is a preeminent fixture on the jam band scene whose body of work in this arena makes up a comprehensive photographic archive of the modern psychedelic rock and roll tribe that began 50 years ago in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.