It was 1997 the last time I was on the Charles Bridge in Prague. I was a college student backpacking through Europe, and this moment of Dixieland jazz in the heart of Europe, pictured above, hit me strongly. I wasn't much of a photographer back then, but this is one of the few photos during that trip that actually told a good story and made me proud. When I started shooting professionally, I took the photo out, scanned it, and had the smudged, fingerprinted, black-and-white 4×6 sitting on my desk for years. When we started a Prague section on this site, I knew I wanted it to be a header.
Fast forward to October of this year: I'm back on the Charles Bridge. The same Dixieland jazz band was rocking, as the rain that had settled over the city finally let up. I took some more photos and enjoyed the beats, as I did when I was 21. When we got home we took a look at the two photos and realized the banjo player was the same—a bit older, but showing the same energy and love for his music, 14 years later. To think of how many times this man has been photographed playing these same songs amazes me. His smile tells the whole story.
Also, check out the video!
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