Now Day Week A-Z
Displaying: Thursday, Feb 21 for NC CHANNEL Early Morning  -  Morning  -  Afternoon  -  Evening
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Jazz : Gumbo (Beginnings to 1917)

Jazz is born in the unique musical and social cauldron of New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century, emerging from several forms of music, including ragtime, marching bands, work songs, spirituals, European classical music, funeral parade music and, above all, the blues. Musicians who advance early jazz in New Orleans include Creole pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton, cornetist Buddy Bolden and clarinet prodigy Sidney Bechet. Composer W.C. Handy codifies the blues through his popular compositions. The Original Dixieland Jazz Band makes the first jazz recordings. Their enormous popularity spreads the sounds of jazz across the country and, eventually, the world. At the end of the episode, viewers meet an 11-year-old New Orleans boy, Louis Armstrong, who will emerge from the city's toughest streets to become jazz music's greatest star and transform American music. The Gift (1917 - 1924) - The second episode is set during the tumultuous era known as the " Jazz Age," when the rhythms and spirit of jazz music mirror the world that emerged in the wake of World War I. The program introduces two extraordinary individuals whose lives will be interwoven throughout the rest of the series: the brilliant bandleader and composer Duke Ellington and the virtuoso New Orleans- born cornetist Louis Armstrong, who single-handedly transforms jazz from ensemble music to a soloist' s art. This episode follows black bandleader and WWI hero James Reese Europe and his Harlem regiment to the war in France and back home again. In the l920s, jazz enters American living rooms through radio and phonograph records. The migration of millions of African Americans from the South to the North helps create a receptive audience for the new music -- especially evident on the south side of Chicago. White musicians, entranced by the recordings and the music they hear in Chicago's night clubs, begin to make their mark on jazz.

Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings The Band

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), an innovative and prolific jazz pianist, composer and arranger, created some of the most sophisticated big-band hits for Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and other popular orchestras of the 1930s. From child prodigy and "Boogie-Woogie Queen" to groundbreaking composer and musical mentor to some of jazz's greatest musicians, Williams seemed to redefine herself with every passing decade. Away from the piano, she defied expectations - as a woman in a "man's world," as a black person in a whites-only society, and as a non-conforming creative genius in an image-driven industry. MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND examines Williams' life and career, and her enduring legacy. In telling her story, the film follows the trajectory of jazz through the lens of a pioneering African-American female instrumentalist. The documentary unfolds through Williams' words - voiced by Oscar and Emmy nominee Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, State of Affairs) - taken from unpublished manuscripts, oral histories and media interviews. Tony- and Screen Actors Guild-nominated actor Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Get Shorty) voices Mary Lou Williams' husband John, while Independent Spirit Award-winning actor Wendell Pierce (Selma, The Wire) portrays bandleader Andy Kirk. Interviews with scholars, friends and fellow musicians - including Geri Allen, Carmen Lundy, Hank Jones, Billy Taylor, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Esperanza Spalding- place Williams' personal story within a larger context.

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