GREAT BLACK MUSIC & MUSICIANS FILM SERIES
FALL 2011 WEST VILLAGE G 108
6 – 8PM THURSDAYS
Hosted by Dr. Leonard Brown, Associate Professor of African American Studies & Music, prominent musician and scholar, this film series will expose students to the powerful musical legacies of African and African-American music-cultures and musicians (female & male) from Africa, the Caribbean and the USA.
Sept.15: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES/BYRON HURT
Award winning documentary by NEU football star and alum Byron Hurt takes an in-depth look at masculinity and manhood in rap and hip-hop, where creative genius collides with misogyny, violence and homophobia, exposing the complex intersections of culture and commerce.
Sept. 29: MUSIC ON MY MIND/MARY LOU WILLIAMS
Pioneering Black American composer-arranger-pianist Mary Lou Williams is one of the most remarkable figures in the history of jazz. In this authoritative film, lively interviews with Williams, Dizzy Gillespie and Buddy Tate interweave the musical and personal elements of her dramatic life.
Oct. 6: SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE/STEVIE WONDER
This 1997 film, co-produced by Stevie Wonder, captures the reunion of Stevie Wonder and the musicians who contributed to his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. Featured are interviews with Wonder, Berry Gordy, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Gary Byrd, Coolio, Aisha Morris and Yolanda Simmons, and engineers John Fischbach and Gary Olazabal.
Oct. 27: MARIAN ANDERSON/AMERICAN MASTER
Ms. Anderson is considered one of the greatest concert singers of all-time. She stood up against American racism towards Blacks and became the first African American to be named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company, as well as the first to perform at the White House. In 1955 Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera and in 1963 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She later received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
Nov. 3: THROW DOWN YOUR HEART
“Throw Down Your Heart” follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to East and West Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album. It’s a boundary-breaking musical adventure that celebrates the beauty and complexity of Africa – an Africa that is very different from what is often seen in the media today. Meet some of the most exciting and wonderful African musicians of our time in this wonderful documentary.
Dec. 1: CELIA: THE QUEEN/CELIA CRUZ
Celia: The Queen is a documentary about the life and legacy of a stellar performer who erupted onto the Cuban music scene as the front woman of ‘La Sonora Matancera’, and soon became Cuba’s most adored singer. Her trademarks cry ‘Azúcar’ became known across Latin America. When she fled Castro’s Cuba in 1960 and eventually arrived in the United States, she started a second even more successful career fueled by her partnerships with salsa greats Tito Puente, Willie Colon, and Johnny Pacheco. This film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from the big stars of music, literature and film like Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia and Wyclef Jean to fans all over the world.
Dec. 8: A DUKE NAMED ELLLINGTON
This superb documentary highlights the life and times of one of the most remarkable musical groups in American history, the Duke Ellington orchestra and its leader, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, a musical genius considered by many to be American’s greatest musician. This film is a marvelous chronicle of a brilliant musician and his musical organization, with generous clips that show many of the greatest jazz players of the era at the peak of their powers. Ben Webster, Russell Procope, Barney Bigard, Cat Anderson, “Tricky Sam,” Jimmy Blanton, Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, they’re all here.