Photo by John Watson

The Joy of Shakti at the JAZZx Festival – Photo essay from Timisoara, Romania

Photographs and commentary by John Watson

I find the music of Shakti so captivating that concentrating on photographing the group in concert might be considered the biggest challenge I face.  I could almost forget that I have a camera in my hands, and be swept away by the music.

However, the greatest challenge for a photographer at the JAZZx Festival in Timisoara, Romania, was the extraordinarily high stage, a temporary structure set up in Liberty Square.

The height of the stage posed a particular and formidable problem when photographing Shakti, for they perform while seated cross-legged – and though they were crouched on a low riser it was difficult to see John McLaughlin’s guitar without standing in front of the audience, and to take photos including at least some of the instrument.

The mood of the music, however, was reflected in the joy and passion revealed in the faces of the players, so I have tried to capture that intensity in these images.

Read and see photos here