Nestled away in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, musicians, poets and various academics once gathered to seek refuge at a place called the Music Inn during the 1950s. Away from Communist blacklisting and nuclear fear, this isolated group of artists created the first summer-long Jazz Festival and the First School of Jazz.
Four years in the making, the documentary film Music Inn will screen at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In his directorial debut, Ben Barenholtz-who has spent years producing and distributing independent film since the ’60s-has captured rare footage of residents and students at the Music Inn as well as supplemental interviews. Among those queried are Randy Weston (pictured), Gunther Schuller, Billy Taylor, Percy Heath, Dave Brubeck, Pete Seeger and Oscar Brand.