Jazz in the Spring at the Nation’s Library
Jazz Film Series curated by Larry Appelbaum, Music Division, Library of Congress.
Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm in the Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. All programs are free (no tickets required), but seating is limited to 60 seats. Reservations may be made one week before any given screening by calling (202-707-5677) between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted. Programs subject to change without notice.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 (Sneak Preview Screening)
THE JAZZ BARONESS (BBC, 2009) directed and written by Hannah Rothschild (82 min, DVD) - The documentary explores the fascinating story of Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a.k.a. “Nica,” the British Baroness, Rothschild heiress and patron of jazz musicians in New York. She was the inspiration for several important jazz compositions and Thelonious Monk spent his final years living in her New Jersey house full of cats. Sonny Rollins, T.S. Monk, Quincy Jones, Roy Haynes and Chico Hamilton are interviewed, along with members of the Rothschild family. Helen Mirren is the voice of the Jazz Baroness.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
LADY BE GOOD: INSTRUMENTAL WOMEN IN JAZZ (Kay D. Ray Productions, 2007) produced, directed and written by Kay Ray. (120 min, DVD) - Lady Be Good uncovers the powerful and personal stories of women musical pioneers, interweaving interviews with Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Bertha Hope, Roz Cron and Betty O’Hara with rare archival footage and photos of Lil Hardin Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Ada Leonard and Her All-Girl Orchestra, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Ina Rae Hutton and the Melodears and the Hormel Girls. Narrated by Patrice Rushen.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
ELECTRIC HEART: DON ELLIS (2008) directed by John Vizzusi; produced by Mike Kaiser; written by John Killoch and John Vizzusi. (70 min, DVD) - Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Don Ellis created a unique fusion of jazz, classical and rock music characterized by odd-metered arrangements, quarter-tones and the use of a four-valve trumpet. Considering he was one of the most exciting acts of his day, Ellis’s contributions have long been underappreciated and his recordings are sought out by collectors. John Vizzusi’s documentary tells the story of this undeservedly obscure musician with help from Maynard Ferguson, Gunther Schuller, Milcho Leviev and others. Narrated by Mary McKitrick.
Tonight’s screening will be introduced by the director, John Vizzusi.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
NEW ORLEANS MUSIC IN EXILE (Starz Entertainment Group, 2006) directed by Robert Mugge; produced by Robert Mugge and Diana Zelman. (113 min, DVD) - This documentary is about the effects and impact of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans music community featuring Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Eddie Bo, Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band and many others.
Tonight’s screening will be introduced by the director, Robert Mugge.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
ED THIGPEN: MASTER OF TIME, RHYTHM AND TASTE (2009) directed and produced by Don McGlynn (91 min, Digital Betacam) - Best known for his long tenures with both Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald, drummer Ed Thigpen has played on more than 900 albums with nearly every important jazz musician of the 20th century. Don McGlynn’s multi-faceted documentary probes many aspects of Thigpen’s life as a musician, teacher, historian and world traveler. Fellow musicians Horace Parlan, Billy Taylor, Carsten Dahl, Tomas Frank and others explain why Thigpen, who has lived in Copenhagen for the past 37 years, is so respected by musicians and loved by jazz fans all over the world.
Tonight’s screening is a world premiere. Special guests to be announced.
Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Fall (2008) at the Nation’s Library
curated by Norman Middleton, Music Division
Monday evenings at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. No tickets required. Seating is limited. Reservations may be made one week before any given screening by calling (202-707-5677) between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted. Programs subject to change without notice.
November 17, 2008
HEARTLAND REGGAE (1980) directed by James P. Lewis (90 minutes) - Considered the definitive reggae film, this documentary of the One Love Peace Concert, held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1978, includes discussions of the Rastafarian lifestyle and philosophy.
FRANK ZAPPA MINI-FESTIVAL
November 24, 2008
UNCLE MEAT (1968) written, produced, and directed by Frank Zappa (100 minutes) – You’ll need a chicken to watch this combination of fiction, home movies and footage of the 1968 Mothers of Invention Royal Albert Hall --- the story of a songwriter who sometimes becomes a monster.
December 1, 2008 - Double Bill
THE AMAZING MR. BICKFORD (1987) directed by Bruce Bickford and Frank Zappa (60 minutes) – A rare glimpse into the dark surrealist vision of clay animator Bruce Bickford—a world of aliens and monsters, elaborate battles, and violent barroom brawls set to Zappa’s music.
DOES HUMOR BELONG IN MUSIC? (1985) directed by Frank Zappa (57 minutes) – A live performance in New York City by Zappa’s 1984 band, arguably the best artists he'd ever assembled. For Zappa fans, this is a must.
December 8, 2008
200 MOTELS (1971) directed by Tony Palmer, Charles Swenson, and Frank Zappa (98 minutes) – A tale of life on the road with animation interspersed with performances of the Mothers of Invention and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, and a cast that includes Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr.
December 15, 2008
STOP MAKING SENSE (1984) directed by Jonathan Demme (88 minutes) - Expertly filmed and edited performance of a Talking Heads concert (over three nights) featuring lead singer David Byrne with Alex Weir, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth, Bernie Worrell, Chris Frantz, Steven Scales, and others.