Photo: Osmany Torres

Luis Olazábal’s photographic oeuvre is a vivid representation of the burgeoning music and arts scene in South Florida.

He captures the grace and verve of live music performance by some of the most accomplished artists of our time. His subjects include transcendent music figures such as jazz masters Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Esperanza Spalding; Brazilian popular music superstars Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, and Gilberto Gil, and pop/world music icons such as David Byrne, Paco de Lucía, and Bebo Valdés. His work has also provided extraordinary views into dance and performance art, capturing the work of artists such as flamenco dancer Jesús Carmona for a recent collaborative work, and companies such as the Karen Peterson Dancers.

Olazábal’s knowledge and passion for music informs his intuitive approach to his subject. It was his involvement in the expressive power of music that first compelled him to pick up a camera. His dedication to his craft is evident in each image he extracts from the phenomenon of a live performance, in color or in black and white.

Each photograph records a moment of absorption, of an artist being transported by the intense communion shared with his or her instrument, body, supporting musicians, cast, and the audience. These moments are transformed into two-dimensional compositions, which embody that original excitement, and convey the soul of the performer.

Over the past 20 years, Olazábal has been an active participant and collaborator in the Miami visual arts and performance community. He has held more than 15 exhibitions of his photos at several galleries such as the Little Haiti Cultural Complex Gallery, Bakehouse Art Complex, WDNA Jazz Gallery, the Miami International Airport for a year and CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Arts Foundation).

Since 2004, Olazábal has been the official photographer of the Rhythm Foundation, a South Florida non-profit organization dedicated to presenting cutting edge musical acts from around the world. His clients include Sony-BMG Music, FOX, JVC Jazz Festival, Miami-Nice Jazz Festival and Miami International Jazz Fest.

Originally from Lima, Peru, in 1988 Olazábal moved to South Florida, where he attended Miami Dade College, majoring in Film and Photography. He is currently living and working in Miami Beach.