KNOXVILLE - Picking up the camera at 18 years old, Michael Weintrob began his career in photography taking pictures at music festivals and concerts.
He visited Big Ears Music Festival for the second time this year, bringing along with him his 'Instrumenthead' gallery.
"In my early twenties, I was photographing Ray Charles, Tina Turner, U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all in concert," Weintrob said.
Working for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard and Downbeat, Weintrob stuck with what he loved doing -- taking photographs of musicians across the world.
"I've tried to tell the story of musicians, not only known musicians, but musicians from other cultures," Weintrob said.
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Weintrob moved to Nashville two and a half years ago with full knowledge of its distinctive, rich history with music and musicians.
"I moved to Tennessee because I wanted to live in a music city. It was either Nashville or New Orleans," Weintrob said. "My mother was sick, and my father was in Birmingham, so I needed to be close to him."
While music continues to be the fundamental reason why he shoots photos, Weintrob said there's also the cultural exchange.
"It's not just people playing bass, guitars, drums and keyboards, but it's also people from other countries who are playing the instruments from where they're from... wearing the clothing that's indigenous to the areas," Weintrob said. "Whether it's someone from China who's playing the pipa or someone from India playing mansuri flutes... I've tried to tell the story of musicians, not only known musicians, but musicians from other cultures."
Weintrob wants to educate and inspire people through his work.
"I think one of the best things of what he does is bring those instruments in and bring what these musicians do into the photography," Justin Helton said, who runs a graphic design studio called Status Serigraph in the Old City.
On April 21 Weintrob's new book featuring more than 350 musicians will come out. He hopes people will try to guess who's who in the book and to go and listen to their music if they don't already know about that musician.
To see more of his photography across the years, you can check out his website here.
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