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NYC’s Film Forum to Screen Rare Jazz Shorts

Ellington, Bessie, Armstrong, Calloway and more

Bessie Smith

New York’s Film Forum will screen Jazz on a Spring Day, a collection of nine newly restored classic jazz shorts from the 1920s and ’30s, on June 8. The films include early appearances by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith (in her only film appearance). The program of shorts will be screened along with a new restoration of William Dieterle’s Syncopation (1942), described in a press release as “a Hollywoodized ‘history’ of jazz featuring cameos by jazz greats.”

The 8:10 showing of Jazz on a Spring Day will be introduced by jazz journalist Will Friedwald.

Jazz on a Spring Day features the following shorts:

St. Louis Blues (1929), with Bessie Smith (her only film appearance)
Black and Tan Fantasy (1929), with Duke Ellington and Fredi Washington
Rhapsody in Black and Blue (1932), with Louis Armstrong
Hi-De-Ho (1933), with Cab Calloway
Bundle of Blues (1933), with Ellington
Hoagy Carmichael (1939), with Hoagy and Jack Teagarden
Symphony in Black (1935), with Ellington and Billie Holiday

… and more.

All films in this program have been restored by the Cohen Film Collection.

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