I photograph Key West musicians and music performances. I enjoy capturing the essence of a musical performance. Photographing different musical artists is both challenging and rewarding. I look for those special moments when a musician or vocalist is totally immersed in a song. They're in a special place that only musicians understand. Sometimes they are no longer even thinking about the music or the song. They're having a special conversation with the audience and its magical.
I have written two books about Key West musicians - The Soul of Key West Volume I & II.
Volume I includes 46 interviews of Key West musicians. Well over 200 hundred photographs were selected from a collection of 4500. It's a 104 page anthology of the Key West music scene as told by the musicians. Their stories are the true description of the lives of professional musicians. This compact island has the most unique music scene of any city in the US and possibly the world. There are 54 venues for live music concentrated in a very island. The music scene is supported totally by the equally unique audience with no cover charges at any of the music clubs. On any night in Key West a short walk of a few blocks and one can listen to some of the best original music, played by world class musicians, in unique open venues, for the price of a cold drink.
Two years in the making, Volume II continues the story of Key West music and tries to answer the question "How did all this music happen in this tiny island community?" Another sixty-five wonderful musicians and vocalists are included, as are over one hundred and sixty color photos. The second volume features a Key West legend or two, special music scene members, actors, dancers, Jimmy Buffet's most famous "roadie," and tributes to late Key West musicians. The Soul of Key West, Volume II is a comprehensive overview of our world-class music scene.
The Soul of Key West Vol. I & Vol. II are available in most Key West gift shops, The Key West Island Book Store, and online at:
© Ralph De Palma Photographer