The Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., has announced the return of the annual series Jazz Sessions: Beyond the Notes, now in its 11th year. From May 29–June 19, the Center will screen an assortment of films reflecting on how jazz has enriched our culture and image abroad. These films look at how a world-famous war photographer, an Esquire magazine art director, politicians, and two German immigrants in search of “schwing” all helped shape the jazz musician’s journey in America.
Jazz Sessions kicks off May 29 with Oscar-nominated documentary A Great Day in Harlem—which explores the story behind the iconic photograph and jazz age era with interviews, performances, and never-before-seen footage—followed by a performance from pianist and composer Emmet Cohen.
Also included in the lineup is a special preview of the new documentary She’s Got Jazz, which looks at four young women who are changing the jazz landscape and opening doors, including singer Veronica Swift, who will perform directly thereafter. Audiences can go backstage with Thelonious Monk, Hall Overton, and more in The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith before taking in a performance from pianist Ben Paterson, or explore the unique relationship between German émigrés and jazz stars such as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and John Coltrane in It Must Schwing!: The Blue Note Story.
Closing out the series is The Jazz Ambassadors, which examines the travels of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington from 1955 on, when the U.S. asked its greatest jazz artists to travel the world as cultural ambassadors amidst the burgeoning civil rights movement. After the screening, audiences can watch a performance from drummer Bryan Carter of Bryan Carter & The Young Swangers.
Jazz Sessions: Beyond the Notes is sponsored by Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan. Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, May 10, at noon.
For more information, visit burnsfilmcenter.org/film, Facebook: @JacobBurnsFilmCenter, Twitter: @JBFC_ny and Instagram: @JBFC_pville.