Jazz on Film: Jazz Films, Documentaries and Music under the Stars

A Screening of Jazz Films with Live Music Performances

July 28 – July 29
Gates at 7pm
films begin at dusk

Kenny Dorham’s Backyard
1106 E. 11th St. next to the Victory Grill

Cover: Free Admittance
Donations Accepted

BYOB  (no glass containers, please)

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Join us for Jazz on Film: two nights of jazz films and live music under the stars at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard! On Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29, we are screening a series of documentaries and feature films that celebrate jazz musicians and culture. A live jazz ensemble plays until the sun goes down, followed by a feature film introduced by a local luminary with knowledge on the subject of jazz.
Come celebrate the legacy of these music legends at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, named for one of Texas’s most talented and underrated jazz players and composers. Dorham played the trumpet as a sideman in the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and others, and led his own band, the Jazz Prophets. In fact, he played alongside many of the musicians featured in this series! Dorham is honored here in the heart of East Austin’s Cultural Heritage District for his contribution to the African-American jazz and bebop movements.
Jazz on Film is part of DiverseArts Culture Works’ ongoing mission of providing multicultural programming to Austin’s community and celebrating traditional African-American art, music and culture. This series serves a dual purpose: while providing the audience with an entertaining and engaging experience, the films also serve as a history lesson on the legacy of the American musical tradition of jazz. Jazz on Film continues on alternating weeks, beginning in August and going on through October.
We kick off the series with a selection of locally-produced documentary shorts that feature Austin jazz musicians past and present, followed by these feature films:
Thursday, July 28th:
Straight, No Chaser
D: Charlotte Zwerin; with Jimmy Cleveland, Harry Colomby, John Coltrane. (90 min)
This 1988 documentary film chronicles the life of American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. Monk was known in the music community for his idiosyncratic style and his part in the formation of the jazz and bebop scenes of the mid twentieth century.  The film features live performances by the musician and his group, as well as posthumous interviews and stories from Monk’s family and friends.
Friday, July 29th:
D: Clint Eastwood; with Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker. (161 min)
Bird is an American biographical film dedicated to the life and musical career of jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker. The film uses scenes from Parker’s past and present to create a fluid montage of his life, from a childhood in Kansas City to his early death in 1955 at age thirty-four. The film focuses primarily on Parker’s relationships with his wife Chan and trumpet genius Dizzy Gillespie. Produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and released in 1988.