Balmain Photography

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King Sunny Adé

Another great photo opportunity courtesy of the Fretboard Journal! One of the founding giants of "juju music," King Sunny Adé, came to Seattle with his large band.

I discovered his music in college and have been a big fan ever since.

King Sunny Adé came to town with about 12 band members and backup singers. I got to watch this legendary and meticulous band leader run through a very long and focused sound check. He is known for wanting to get all the cogs in the machine - the musicians, dancers, singers, and the sound, all working in perfect harmony. Forty years of acclaimed performances and dozens of albums have built a very high standard.

Following the sound check I was able to grab this busy, but warm hearted man for a quick photo session. I chose a sharply angled corner in the lobby of the Triple Door theatre that had a lot of exposed brick. I decided to get in tight and play with some of the tilt features with my Canon 45 TSE lens. King Sunny smiled and laughed most of the time. He was a fun subject. And then he was gone, back to the band and the rest of the tight pre-show schedule.

The actual performance that night was great. I got to stay for the entire show which is a rare luxury with concert photography these days. Usually its three songs and you are out of there. King Sunny Adé has been a star in his Nigerian homeland for more that 40 years. The rest of the world joined the party when Island Records starting releasing his records around the same time as reggae superstar Bob Marley. Countless concert goers have been dancing ever since.

King Sunny Adé Gallery...

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