For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533

Mixed media paintings by James Gayles

Berkeley, California (Thursday, May 20, 2010) - The Addison Street Windows Gallery presents the mixed media works of James Gayles, a popular Bay Area portrait artist who captures the soul of America's classical music through the faces of African American Jazz and blues masters. Dynamic watercolors, acrylics and drawings of familiar giants such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders hang shoulder to shoulder with the lesser known but equally important Bob Geddins, "The Godfather of Oakland Blues," and Sid LaProtti & The So Different Jazz Band.

Miles Davis by James Gayles

During the 1930s, West Oakland was a thriving, diverse neighborhood whose Seventh Street strip was lined with jazz and blues clubs such as Slim Jenkins' Supper Club. Jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday trekked down to this hub of West Coast hip to perform alongside local Bay Area musicians. Without evidence of live recordings, those un-replicated moments of genius are solely grooved into the memories of West Oakland's remaining Black residents, many who brought the Louisiana and Texas blues to the Bay. Gayles' portraits keep that memory alive and celebrate the longevity of jazz.

Exhibits in the Addison Street Windows Gallery, located on Addison Street between Milvia and Shattuck Streets in Berkeley's downtown Arts District, can be viewed 24 hours a day from the sidewalk, are free and wheelchair accessible. 

For more information, contact: James Gayles Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator Curator

Sponsored by the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley in cooperation with the Civic Arts Commission.