The Santa Monica College Emeritus College Art Gallery will be showing Joe La Russo: Photographs, an exhibition of black and white images of jazz artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Eartha Kitt and others, beginning Thursday, Jan. 6.

An opening reception for the exhibit is scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, located on the first floor of Emeritus College, 1227 Second St., Santa Monica.

Other jazz artists captured in the exhibit are singers Celia Cruz and Nina Simone, and pianists Dave Brubeck and Eddie Palmieri.

La Russo has been a professional freelance photographer for more than 25 years, working in various commercial industries while also pursuing photography as a personal artistic expression.

“Throughout this time, live performance photography of jazz musicians has been the most challenging and artistically gratifying to me,” La Russo said. “It stems from my personal love of the music and my deep respect for the talented artists who create it.”

La Russo’s images were taken during live performances at various clubs, theaters and concert halls “with one goal in mind: to capture the individuality of each jazz artist and their music in a single frame,” he said.

“I have certain commonalties with the jazz musician,” the photographer continued. “We both have to improvise and compose on the spot while utilizing to our advantage the logistics of the jazz venues.

“In order to convey the intimacy and feeling of the moment, use of the available light is of the utmost importance. To introduce any artificial light source would alter the authenticity of the jazz artists at their musical peak.”

The exhibit runs thorough Friday, Feb. 4.

The Emeritus College Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Information, (310) 434-4306.

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