A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri at ACFL&MH

image of post card

A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri

The 2011 benefit for the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall is a gala tribute to jazz legend Joe Negri, a Pittsburgh native, including jazz performers Maureen Budway, Roger Humphries, Mike Tomaro and Sean Jones. Hard to believe it’s this weekend!

This design is also the cover of the foldover invitation and the program cover. All are 5″ x 7″, color outside, black inside/back.

The photo of Joe Negri is one I took one of the other times he played at ACFL&MH, “Joe Negri and Friends” in 2008. Joe is a friendly and garrulous person, even with total strangers, but when he plays his entire focus is on his guitar and the sounds it makes. This photo of him deep into creating his music was one of my favorites from that performance.

Most Pittsburghers will recognize Joe Negri’s name, and most have heard his music, even though they may not know it. His classic jazz guitar sound filled Pittsburgh airwaves in the 1960s and 70s as he was music director at a television station and often performed around Pittsburgh and appeared on television, but many more from all over will know him as “Handyman Negri” on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Those are just the barest highlights of a lifetime of performance in Pittsburgh and out, live and recorded; read more about him on his website.

post card image for jazz at the carnegie carnegie

Jazz Post Card

jazz mass of hope invitation

Mass of Hope Post Card

It’s impossible to sum that up in a 5″ x 7″ post card, but Joe had performed at ACFL&MH in 2008 in a jazz concert in the spring and in a performance in December of his own Mass of Hope, a jazz and choir performance following the format of a religious service, performed by a jazz quartet and jazz choir. I had the opportunity to photograph both events and had a few good photos. (Both designs shown here are mine as well; please visit the ACFL&MH page on my main website to read a little more about those designs.)

As I mentioned above, the photo I used in this design is one of my favorites from both performances: his focus on his guitar and his performance, the hint of the piano behind him and the vintage drums next to him, the spotlight full on him throwing the rest of the stage into darkness. Not only does it describe his love of performance, even in his mid-80s, but it also affords an evenly-toned background to text placement, very handy. The orange of the text and the mahogany bar near the bottom were pulled from colors in Joe’s guitar to tie it together; the BNY Mellon Jazz logo is required to be white or black, so in this case it was white. I kept intending to take out the orange extension cord near his feet, but forgot—musicians always have so much gear; the other orange item behind him is actually the rack that holds his guitar when he sets it down.

Even though  Joe Negri is the principal performer, I also wanted to feature the four tribute performers using more than their names. Pulling little thumbnails from their websites for position, I ended up using them as they were tiny enough that the reduced resolution didn’t affect the print quality. And, thinking the star should be the only one presented in full color, I desaturated their images to appear grayscale in order to preserve all four color channels, then added a 25% filter in one of four colors pulled from somewhere in the main photo so that would tie back in as well as the text and other elements.

I actually visualized all this when the concert was first mentioned, and knew what other likely products would use the same design and set it up with that in mind.

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