Our favorite portraits of North Texas musicians from 2022

Our music journalist, Jessica Waffles, photographed hundreds of musicians around North Texas this year. Last week, we shared her favorite photos capturing moves on stage.  This week, we have some of her favorite portraits.

And a reminder: Vote for your favorite songs and albums of the 2022 with KXT. The station will count them down on Dec. 31.

A man plays trumpet in a black and white photo

Gabriel Parker of Artemis Funk. Photo: Jessica Waffles

1. Gabriel Parker 

Arlington band Artemis Funk performed in front of the DREAM installation as part of the Takeout Tuesday series put on by Downtown Arlington. The contrast of Parker and the art installation across a cloudless sky made this photo a standout among the year.

See: Artemis Funk article & photos on KXT

A man plays guitar

Vaden Todd Lewis of Toadies. Photo: Jessica Waffles

2. Vaden Todd Lewis (Toadies)

Getting to take photos of the Toadies at Wildflower! Arts and Music Festival in May was a rite of passage as a Dallas music photographer. The festival was a highlight of the year, showcasing over 30 music & performing artists.

See: Wildflower! article, video & photos on KXT

Two people in colorful rainbow outfits

Julien Larios and Allie Crownover celebrate Dallas Pride Music Festival with colorful outfits. Photo: Jessica Waffles

3. Julien Larios and Allie Crownover

The Dallas Pride Music Festival was a flurry of color, joy and freedom. Thousands of people gathered to support the spirit of the occasion, many taking the opportunity to dress up in their most colorful outfits, wear all kinds of LGBTQ+ flags as capes while walking around and braving the Texas heat.

See: Dallas Pride Music Festival article & photos on KXT

A man playing guitar and singing on stage

Ducado VeGA performed at Trees for the Deep Ellum 100 live recording event. Photo: Jessica Waffles

4. Ducado VeGA

Deep Ellum 100 hosted their celebration for the 150th anniversary of the Deep Ellum neighborhood, which included a performance by grant winner Ducado VeGa. The special night had many of my personal favorites of the year, though the colors and expression in this one felt like it stood out.

See: Deep Ellum 100 article & photos on KXT

A man holds up a $20 bill to the camera

AllGood Cafe owner Mike Snider demonstrates to the audience how to tip the musicians during a show. Photo: Jessica Waffles

5. Mike Snider

AllGood Cafe owner Mike Snider is a pillar in the Dallas music community. AllGood Cafe in Deep Ellum is known for hosting talented local musicians on their indoor stage, coupled with the sights and smells of their Southern-style menu that includes the “World’s Best” Chicken-Fried Steak, a savory meatloaf, smothered pork chop, biscuits and gravy, and Tex-Mex dishes.

See: AllGood Cafe article & photos on KXT

A girl sitting holding a dog

Jade Nickol transforms pain into song after losing a loved one to COVID. Photo: Jessica Waffles

6. Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol let me witness a vulnerable performance of her song “Bumps in the Night” shortly after the passing of her partner and fellow musician Droo D’Anna. Her courage has been a testament to the strong young woman she is, and this photo makes me remember the little joys in life – like cuddling your fur baby.

See: Jade Nickol article, video & photo on KXT

A young girl sings

Candace Garza of Dream Place danced throughout the band’s performance, bringing a playful vibe to their set. Photo: Jessica Waffles

7. Candace Garza

Getting to attend Denton’s She Rock event that put women-led bands center stage was a delightful change to the typical pace of the male-dominated music industry. Dream Place from San Antonio was my favorite new experience, electrifying my inner self with the need to dance. Watching the video in the article still gives me chills.

See: She-Rock article, videos & photos on KXT

A 14- year old young man sits with his feet kicked up

Jack Barksdale is a talented and thoughtful young man; North Texas is lucky to have him making music and sharing his unique perspective with the support system of his family and community. Photo: Jessica Waffles

8. Jack Barksdale

Jack Barksdale made his headlining debut at The Kessler Theater this year, adding another notch in this young artist’s belt. It was a celebration for the release of his debut full-length album, Death of a Hummingbird. This portrait is the first I’ve snagged in an off-the-stage setting, in the balcony seating of The Kessler.

See: Jack Barksdale article, video & photos of KXT

A girl smiling for a portrait photo

Kelsi Kee after a video shoot for KXT in Patrick Smith’s home. Photo: Jessica Waffles

9. Kelsi Kee

Young East Dallas artist Kelsi Kee has the voice of an angel. This photo was taken during a live session video for KXT, in front of bassist Patrick Smith’s dreamcatcher collection. This stripped-down video recording features an unreleased song called “Desert Me.”

See: Kelsi Kee article, video & photos on KXT

A young woman smiles and plays guitar

Jenna Clark has been working on a new full-length record called West to Dallas. Photo: Jessica Waffles

10. Jenna Clark 

Jenna Clark’s smile is infectious when she shares her stories on stage between her poignant lyricism in her songs. In this photo she’s performing at AllGood Cafe in a song swap with Sean Foster.

See: Jenna Clark & Sean Foster article & photos on KXT

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 

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