Jack Van Camp Photographs of Blues Musicians Donated to the Sousa Archives

Big Time Sarah at the Blind Pig, January 13, 1996 (top left), Luther Johnson at the Highdive, July 7, 1999 (top right), and Junior Wells at the Blind Pig, March 23, 1996 (bottom)

Jack Van Camp’s photographs of blues and gospel musicians who performed at various venues throughout Champaign, IL  between 1994 and 2001 were recently donated to the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.  Van Camp’s [spelling corrected 10/4/16] black and white photographs not only document the diverse local and national blues and gospel ensembles and solo acts that frequently performed at Champaign’s Blind Pig and Highdive, but also Central Illinois’ vital African-American music scene at the end of the twentieth century.  The Jack Van Camp collection of photographs include carefully crafted 8×10 and 5×7 images of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Mighty Blues Kings, Junior Wells, Luther Johnson, “Big Time” Sarah Streeter, Lonnie Brooks, Robert Lockwood Junior and many other nationally recognized musicians.  As a self-taught photographer who based his artful approach  on the work of jazz photographer, Herman Leonard, Mr. Van Camp’s [spelling corrected 10/4/16] images capture  the intense personal connections these musicians had with their music and their Urbana-Champaign audiences.  The collection is open to researchers during normal operating hours.  For further information call 217-244-9309.

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