Mario O Santos

I’m a Portuguese experienced photographer based in Chicago. I am always looking for new challenges and ways to improve my knowledge. After working 18 years in editorial photography, I decided to become a freelancer. Right now one of my main objectives is to work on more projects within documentary and fine art photography, and continue working with events and musicians. In the past I worked a lot mainly with classical musicians and some rock bands. In my country we don’t have a tradition in the blues, but now I have the opportunity to discover and explore this great and lovely world of the blues. Photographing women singing the blues is amazing also because they bring sensuality and a very different kind of power to the stage.

— Mario O Santos


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Mario Santos - Jan James

Jan James

Red Line Tap, Chicago, Illinois – February 2016 © Mario O Santos

“My passion for the blues started at an early age. I grew up in the country where you could feel the rhythm in the soul of nature. We lived on the river trail where I first understood the pull of the water. When I started to sing I could feel this stream inside yearning to connect with the heart of the souls that came near. It was powerful. My voice grew strong. It has connected me with many great musicians and concert audiences around the world. It is an honor and a religion to be included with these Women of the Blues. My influences include many but the true jewels of my journey are Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Memphis Minnie and Koko Taylor. The “blues” is the rhythm of nature. Its constancy is what draws us in. Its connection is what saves our souls. Long live the Women of the Blues.” – Jan James