Known for both her photography and stage presence, Tyler Bloomquist is no stranger to multitasking in the limelight. During their sets, the JT&T saxophonist can be found alongside Jack Trash, belting out a series of jaw-inducing melodies. Tyler’s sound is the byproduct of seasoned practice and care. When not on stage, Tyler Bloomquist can be found weaving through the crowd for an ultimate SIMshows closeup, or climbing items in the pursuit of the perfect panorama. SIMshows recently got a chance to interview one of its hidden gems, and we have to say, you go Tyler!
SIM: How did JT&T come about? What style of DJing does JT&T typically tailor to, and how do you adjust your live performance to each set type?
Tyler: After being together for a little while and understanding each other’s love for music, we knew we had to try it out! I had always wanted to be involved in performing with electronic music, and I just happened to find the right person 🙂 . When putting a set together, we take into consideration who we are opening for or what our audience is like. We obviously won’t play the same genre as headliners, so we choose music that we think will showcase both of us, as well as set the mood. We play the Union Rooftop often, and generally what the crowd is into dictates the songs we play. It could be anything from Tropical House to Top 40 Mixes to Latin, but I love it most when JT plays disco 🙂 .
SIM: How long have you been playing the saxophone for? Are you trained in any other instruments?
Tyler: I have been playing for about 15 years now. [As for the other instruments] well…I bought a flute last year but haven’t been doing a good job at teaching myself.
SIM: On average, how much time do you spend practicing your instrument each week?
Tyler: ..not enough haha.
SIM: Besides SIMshows events, where else has JT&T played?
Tyler: The only other events we have performed at have been Summer Set Music and Camping Festival, as well as Spring Awakening Music Festival in Chicago in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, we performed on the Main Stage of Soldier Field… and it was literally like our fifth time performing together. I was pretty terrified for a while.
SIM: You play the roles of event photographer and saxophonist incredibly well. How do you balance practicing for your set with JT, as well as finding time to take photos at events? Especially when you have two shows to photograph in one night, and a set to play?
Tyler: That’s very nice of you to say! Nights with multiple shows to photograph and a JT&T set can be a bit much, but when you love what you do it just comes to you 🙂 . After a few years, you get to know how quickly [you have to move] and where your mind has to be.
SIM: Take us back a bit. Where did your hobby for photography come from, and how has it evolved over the years?
Tyler: Oh man; well my parents gave me a 35mm film camera at like three years old, and I never put it down. It has always been an expensive hobby. Some of my first projects were taking my friends’ senior photos and their families’ photos. My first experience with event photography was when I brought my camera and mini recorder to a Van’s Warped Tour in 2008 or so and snuck backstage, saying I was doing interviews with some of the bands. It actually somehow worked with a few smaller acts. I had a few contacts from that scene then and shot some pop punk shows every now and then. Honestly, though, I really give the credit to SIMshows for helping me grow with event photography and nightlife.
SIM: Outside of SIMshows, what other photography projects are you involved in? Have you traveled for photography- don’t spare the details!
Tyler: I definitely shoot a variety of styles. One of my favorite subjects to shoot are people. I am fortunate to have had many opportunities to photograph some of the models in town at Ignite Models. Just recently, I started working at a photography studio in Minneapolis as their Portrait Manager, and I am excited to see where that takes me.
You must know that I love traveling! Last year I ended up traveling way more than I had expected to. The first three week European journey started in Germany, where I met my cousin. We stayed in a beautiful, Bavarian town nestled in the Alps; and after this excursion, we headed to Porto, Portugal for a few days. That city is so cool; it has great character! After that, I went solo to Venice and Croatia for a little over a week altogether. Venice is crazy. I got up early each morning to get my photos of the empty sidewalks and canals, but it didn’t stay empty for long! A bit too touristy for my liking, but I had to check it out. My favorite day was just hanging out at Basilica San Marco and marveling at it’s beauty. Croatia was my last stop. I could have spent the whole three weeks there! Beautiful countryside and vibrant blue waters, charming stone streets, an interesting history, and some of the best seafood [I’ve ever had]. In the fall, I had the opportunity to work with a guided tour company as their photographer on two of their tours. The first tour consisted of destinations in Ireland and Scotland. I lucked out with timing, as Fashion Week was going on in London the week before; I had to check that out! When the guided tour ended in Scotland, I took a few days to explore the Isle of Skye. Driving on the opposite side of the car and road was definitely strange, but it was so worth driving at my own pace and exploring the areas I wanted to. I love being out in nature, and the Isle of Skye has some of the most breathtaking landscapes! After this trip, I was home for less than 24 hours and flew out to NYC to photograph for the same tour company throughout New England.
SIM: What is some of the craziest things you have seen as a photographer?
Tyler: As an event photographer, I’ve definitely seen a lot of people in party mode – which tends to get crazy, but I won’t get into details. I guess I always think it’s funny when I’m traveling and see people spending so much time trying to get the perfect selfie wherever they are. You can’t help but notice when people spend more time trying to take a selfie instead of enjoying the actual view. But I can’t say anything,though… I have taken a lot of selfies with JT.
SIM: What are a few things you wish show patrons would keep in mind when you are working, whether this be while taking photos or performing on stage?
Tyler: Just be mindful and aware of your surroundings. It gets super dark at shows at times, and I expect not everyone to watch where they are going. But it would be nice to go one night without having a drink spilled on me or my camera 🙂 .
We’d like to thank Tyler for taking the time this week to speak with us. Make sure to follow her adventures through the socials listed below. Tickets are still available for Thomas Jack; make sure to buy yours here!