Nhlanhla Ngqaqu. Picture: Simphiwe Mhlambi.
Nhlanhla Ngqaqu. Picture: Simphiwe Mhlambi.

Siphiwe Mhlambi’s latest exhibition an expression of jazz photography

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Sep 18, 2021

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Jazz is one of the most harmonic music genres.

And when combined with fine photography, it proves to be a powerful artistic fusion that is visually stimulating and unforgettable, as it is underpinned by a track from an artist that is loved.

South Africa’s talented jazz and documentary visual storyteller Siphiwe Mhlambi will once again be hosting an exhibition at FotoZA, a fine art photographic gallery in Rosebank.

Titled "Expressions," Mhlambi’s exhibition is a celebration of cultural icons.

It pays homage to Abigail Kubeka, Dorothy Masuka, Zoe Modiga, Sibongile Khumalo, Paul Hamner, Kitty Phehla, Busi Mhlongo, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Thandie Klaasen, Vusi Khumalo, Steve Kekana, Themba Mokoena, Wynton Marsalis and Gregory Porter, whose beautiful portraits will be shown at the exhibition.

The portraits are the photographs that Mhlambi, a jazz fanatic, has been documenting at the jazz concerts and festivals he’s been attending over the years. Mostly in black and white, the photographs are some of his best works that showcase the jazz artists deep in the music, cuddling their instruments without any care in the world.

The exhibition is calledExpressions” because, in each portrait that he presents, the award-winning photographer is somehow able to capture uniquely expressive moments with his lense.

You can feel the emotions of the musicians through the photographers. There’s something visceral about each of the photographs that Mhlambi presents with such care in “Expressions”.

Simphiwe Mhlambi’s exhibition also pays homage to Zoe Modiga. Picture: Supplied

He has also invited jazz musicians to perform at the exhibition.

At the opening of the exhibition tonight, Prince Lengoas, one of South Africa’s most gifted trumpeters will be serenading the audience with his sweet melodies.

Other artists lined-up to perform during the exhibitions include: Nduduzo Makhathini, Ziza Muftic, Billy Monama, Themba Mokoena, McCoy Mrubata, Mandla Mlangeni & Amandla Freedom Ensemble, Natalia Molebatsi, Gontse Makhene and Kabelo Monnathebe & Resonance.

This latest edition of “Expressions” is said to evoke a range of emotions as it’s a reminder of how South Africans used jazz as a soundtrack during apartheid.

Expressions Jazz Photography Exhibition by Siphiwe Mhlambi is showcasing at FotoZA from September 17 until October 17.

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