Since his experience of jazz at the age of 4, photographer Samuel Nja Kwa has never stopped feeding this enthusiasm. He makes his subjects dance according to his creative spirit while drawing from the sap of jazz. His methodology is that of a passer-by who transmits through his images a feeling of music that he wishes to make discover to the world.
After the distribution of his first book « Route du Jazz » which includes portraits in black and white, and some expressions of jazzmen and jazzwomen who highlight their Africanity. He offers to the general public « Jazz On my Mind ». Photographic archives that call upon his memory, images that tell his own story, his relationship with jazz. A kind of attention to the music of the artists he captured to the point of remembering sometimes discussions, certain circumstances or even some shows lived with them.
The photographer Samuel Nja Kwa, since he bought his first record and his first shows in 1974, has worked with Manu Dibango, Rhoda Scott, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Shirley Horn, Grover Washington, Elvin Jones, Angélique Kidjo, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Ron Carter, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Avishai Cohen, Joe Zawinul, Randy Weston, George Coleman, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Dr Lonnie Smith, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sophie Alour, Emile Parisien, Vincent Peirani, Stephane Belmondo, Jacky Terrasson, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Trilock Gurtu, Geri Allen, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Wallace & Antoine Roney, Daniel Humair, Paolo Fresu, Archie Shepp, Natacha Atlas, Gregory Porter, André Ceccarelli, Youn Sun Nah, Dave Holland, Alain Jean-Marie, Mino Cinelu, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Jeremy Pelt…
Samuel Nja Kwa proposes through « Jazz On my Mind » his vision of jazz: the advancement and exhaustiveness of this music. He proposes 22 years of revelation on their affections, their snapshots of inventiveness and their complicity with the crowd and simultaneously tells the story of African-American music in its entirety through three exhibitions to discover :
- From November 05 to 12, 2021 at the French Institute of Cotonou in Benin
- From November 13 to 22, 2021 at the French Institute of Lome in Togo
- And from February 03, 2022 to March 04, 2022 at the Basango Gallery in Pointe-Noire, Congo