Samuel Nja Kwa : ROUTE DU JAZZ – book & photographic exhibition

Onomo hotel at Bamako / Durban Art Gallery, Bamako / Durban
21 May 2015 - 06 Jan 2016

Samuel Nja Kwa : ROUTE DU JAZZ – book & photographic exhibition

Through portraits and interviews , the photographer Samuel Nja Kwa traces the journey of rhythm and tells a musical history of Africa.

The road and history of Jazz crosses the one of Slavery from the continent of Africa. It starts in Africa, developing different cultural nuances before the European invasion, culminating to its climatic arrival in the year 1917, a year that has become an anchor in its history. A product of a creative mixes between Europe and the African traditional music on American ground, it is a symbolic expression of history.

How can we evaluate the African musical culture once it has been deported? A victim of a violent invasion, how can it be recreated and renewed with the European and the American influences? How has it given birth to Jazz? Are there still traces of Africa in the Jazz of today?

This exposition humbly tries to answer these questions. To do this, a major place has been allowed to the individuals and the influential actors of this era, from the African continent to the Americas, crossing through Europe.

The exhibition is currently on view at Onomo hotel at Bamako until January 6th 2016
and will open from September 17th to October 26th 2015 at Durban Art Gallery.

Born in Paris, Samuel Nja Kwa studied and grew up between Douala (Cameroon), Paris (France) and Montreal (Canada). In 1996, returning from a travel in Japan he proposes his first exhibition «Visions of Japan». At the same time, he launches Le “Disque Africain” Magazine with friends and meets many African and Jazz musicians, whom he has photographed and interviewed. By choosing the portrait, he distinguishes himself with a very personal style. His meeting with the African American pianist Randy Weston creates the catch. Samuel becomes more interested in African roots of Jazz and slavery.