Allen Mezquida is a jazz musician, animator and artist. He traveled the world playing alto saxophone with Gerry Mulligan, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap and many others. He also worked as an illustrator in New York City. While on the road playing, he occupied the down time drawing in airports and hotel rooms. He then taught himself to animate and moved to Los Angeles. He now lives in Oak Park, CA with his wife and son while he plays jazz, directs short form animation and makes art.
This collection of jazz portraits was started during the quarantine of 2020 when Allen was unable to play live music. It's not a who's who list of jazz greats but rather a collection of the players who have moved him deeply. It's also not a complete list as there are many more musicians and vocalists to be drawn/painted. He stays away from copying specific photos in order to render more subjectively his personal view of these musical giants; their nobility, their swagger, their humor and the incredible beauty that poured out of them when they walked the earth.