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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jazz & Blues on film


The U.S. Embassy and Red Bones Blues Café for the fourth year will collaborate to bring selected films from the series, “JAZZ,” by renowned filmmaker Ken Burns, as a precursor to its annual African American History Month observances. In addition, there will other documentaries featured such as the Blues Masters, The Howlin’ Wolf Story among others.

The films, which are free to the public, will be shown from January 24 to February 28, at the Red Bones Blues Café` in Kingston, starting at 7:30 p.m.

On January 24, Ken Burns’ “Gumbo” explores how jazz begins in 19th century New Orleans, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows fills the streets with a richly diverse musical culture. Here, African-American musicians create a new music out of these ingredients by mixing in ragtime syncopations and the soulful feeling of the blues. Soon after the start of the new century, people are calling it jazz.

“Blues Masters – The Essential History of the Blues” on January 31, captures performances of the early masters on film and those that were are profoundly insightful and entertaining such as Son House, Leadbelly, Bessie Smith, B.B. King , Billie Holiday, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Big Joe Turner, Mamie Smith, Ethel Waters with Count Basie and many others.

Another film from the Ken Burns series, “Our Language” will be featured on February 7 while ‘The Howlin Wolf Story,’ will be shown on Wednesday, February 13. This eminently watchable documentary is about Chester A. Burnett, better known as Howlin' Wolf with some history of the Blues in general.

“A Masterpiece at Midnight” and "Antone's Home of the Blues: A Legend Every Night" will be featured on February 21 and 28 respectively

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