Amos Hoffman and Mark Rapp teamed up to commission a jazz painting for The Joint at 1710 Main Street where the two perform regularly. They looked to local artist and supporter of Jazz, Ashley Berendzen.
Inspired by the large images of jazz icons surrounding the stage at the famous NYC venue Smalls, Amos and Mark wanted to bring a similar look and feel to Columbia’s own jazz venue, The Joint. The 5-foot by 7-foot painting is adorns the wall beside the stage and is visible to pedestrians walking by. It overlooks the musicians on the stage urging them on.
Ashley has a long history with local jazz musicians. She was often seen drawing the musicians while they played at the Speakeasy – a jazz club which closed in 2019. Ashley Berendzen says, “I hope the piece will inspire jazz lovers to be proud of the greats that have come up from our state such as Dizzy Gillespie and carry on their spirit and love for Jazz. I made an effort to capture implied movement and sound in the piece. My intention for the piece at The Joint is to help contribute to the atmosphere of the well loved establishment as well as the charm of SC while honoring our heritage of great jazz musicians. I would like it to serve as a reminder we also have greats in our midst right now, and right on our very own Main St!“
I would like it to serve as a reminder we also have greats in our midst right now, and right on our very own Main St!– Ashley Berendzen
Amos Hoffman says of the work, “Dizzy Gillespie is one of the most important figures in jazz. He is also one of South Carolina’s greatest treasures and inspiration to jazz musicians living in South Carolina. It is my hope this painting helps The Joint to be seen and experienced as a serious place for jazz music.”
Mark Rapp adds to this sentiment saying, “Performing on stage with this artwork makes you want to play better, to sit up straight and present the music at ever higher levels. It is an inspiring piece. We have world-class musicians in Columbia and they deserve to have an atmosphere that supports their creativity.”
Owners and managers of The Joint say, “We are proud to showcase the local arts in all forms, and will continue to be a huge advocate for our artists!“
While Amos and Mark purchased the large canvas together, it was Ashley who suggested en lieu of a direct payment for the finished artwork, she’d prefer to donate the piece to the ColaJazz Foundation. Like ColaJazz, she wanted to give back and inspire the Columbia jazz community.
I hope the piece will inspire jazz lovers to be proud of the greats that have come up from our state such as Dizzy Gillespie and carry on their spirit and love for Jazz.– Ashley Berendzen