"To know music is to transfer it to life." --Mahatma Ghandi



The Voice Behind the Shades Ali Miano

Whoa, what a concept: an all-girl band focused on music instead of the old "look how tacky or full-of-ourselves we can be" bit. Maybe Madonna's influence on youth is returning to the cesspool from which it came. These kids appear to be interested in their music and making something happen in their lives with it. They're off to a good start.

The photographs here are from the Arroyo Grande Village Summer Concert series. Jade was the second band of the opening date. I had seen the girls before their performance, wandering about, goofing off, and talking to their friends. Regular kids (they are fourteen years old). When it came time to perform, though, they shifted into a mature, business-like and focused attitude. It was time to deliver the goods, and they did.

Focused Jessi Carr The Rhythm Section Olivia Michel on Bass

Jade is a trio of Jessi Carr (lead guitar), Olivia Michel (bass guitar), and Ali Miano (drums). Jessi is the lead vocalist, but the others sing, also. Together, they perform primarily their own songs, some songs by Richard Green and a few cover tunes. Stage presence was "reserved." This gave them credibility as musicians that they might not have gotten with a showy, flamboyant demeanor. However, they didn't appear to connect with the audience so well as they might have had they shared some of their personality in a more lively way. In time, perhaps, this will come. (Lighten up, but please don't get goofy.) Currently, they are concentrating on their music, and that's certainly not a bad thing. Jade puts on a competent performance, and they are worthy of time and interest.

This was an outdoor concert with the performers in full shade. That meant no harsh shadows. Good. It also meant flat light on the musicians and much brighter light in the background behind them. Bad. Ali was buried in the shadows and her photographs required strong flash against the bright daylight background. There was nothing from which to bounce and soften the flash. However, a little magic and good karma pulls her out, and she is presented well against the distractions behind her. Up front, Jessi and Olivia benefited from ambient light coming in from the front of the stage. The tight, narrow view and shallow depth of field minimize the bright and busy background.

Although they've been playing together for three years, it's a pretty safe bet that their music is still evolving as they mature musically and personally. I hope to get a chance to hear, and photograph, this band again and see how they develop. Best wishes, girls, and good luck!

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
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