June 4, 2016

28 Iconic Images Taken by Renowned Music Photographer David Redfern

David Redfern was a British photographer noted for capturing jazz musicians and rock stars in live performance.

During the 1960s Redfern became a fixture of London’s jazz scene, photographing artists from home-grown talent such as George Melly and Kenny Ball to visiting greats like Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald. He spent his nights darting between smoky Soho venues such as the Marquee Club on Wardour Street and Ronnie Scott’s, a short late-night dash away on Frith Street. “He’s the Cartier-Bresson of jazz,” said the drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich.

However, Redfern’s career was not defined by the genre: “I guess I was in the right place at the right time: swinging London at the start of the Sixties. The British trad jazz phenomenon of the late Fifties was followed by the British rock and pop explosion.”


As the decade progressed he started photographing acts who were recording shows at television studios. On these occasions he took many of his best-known early shots, including a series of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones performing on a tiny box stage in Birmingham for Thank Your Lucky Stars.

From the 1960s Redfern enjoyed unrivalled access to the biggest acts. He photographed John Lennon in top hat and feathers fooling around on the Magical Mystery Tour shoot; Jerry Lee Lewis pummelling his piano with a cowboy-booted foot; and Frank Sinatra lighting up the Albert Hall.

Of all his photographs it was, perhaps, those of Jimi Hendrix which proved most popular. “I was never really into rock ’n’ roll, you know, but Hendrix was special,” he said. “He had a charisma, which helps so much as a photographer, when you have to capture some of that on film.”

Below are 28 photos from his legendary collection of work.

Jethro Tull

Elton John

John Lennon

The Beatles

Nina Simone

Marvin Gaye

Dionne Warwick

Marianne Faithfull

Tony Bennett

B.B. King

James Brown

Ray Charles

Aretha Franklin

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Jimi Hendrix

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Chet Baker

Charles Mingus

Thelonious Monk

Duke Ellington

Miles Davis

Louis Armstrong

Jimi Hendrix

Marianne Faithfull

Dizzy Gillespie

Roy Orbison

Stevie Wonder

Jimi Hendrix





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