Jazz on Film: Mo' Better Blues

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

Featuring "Mo' Better Blues"

A Screening of Jazz Films with Live Music Performances

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Gates at 8:00 pm
Film begins at 9:00 pm

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

Free Admittance,
Donations Accepted

(no glass containers, please)

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Join us for the return of Jazz on Film: a night of jazz film under the stars at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard! On Thursday August 18, we continue our screenings of documentaries and feature films that celebrate jazz culture, music and film.

Jazz on Film is part of DiverseArts Culture Works’ ongoing mission of bringing traditional African American arts, music and programming to the East Austin Cultural Heritage District. 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.
This installment of the series begins with a selection of locally-produced documentary shorts that feature Austin jazz musicians past and present, followed by Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues.
Mo' Better Blues (1990)
D: Spike Lee; with Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Spike Lee, Giancarlo Esposito. (129 min)
Mo' Better Blues focuses on a period in the life of fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Giilliam (Washington) and a series of bad decisions that threaten both his music career and his personal relationships. The film opens with Gilliam learning to play the trumpet, finishing his lessons at the command of his mother even as his friends urge him to come outside and play. It fast-forwards into the future, as Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own jazz band--the Bleek Gilliam Quartet. Using his signature cause-and-effect style, Lee focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, and ultimately salvation.