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THE JAZZ AMBASSADORS
Flex 1 - Dwyer Cultural Center
New York, NY
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THE JAZZ AMBASSADORS
THE JAZZ AMBASSADORS
NEW YORK PREMIERE
Director: Hugo Berkeley
90 min, US
2018

The Cold War and Civil Rights movement collide in this remarkable story of music, diplomacy and race.

In 1955, as the Soviet Union's pervasive propaganda about the U.S. and American racism spread globally, African-American Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. convinced President
Eisenhower that jazz was the best way to intervene in the Cold War cultural conflict.

For the next decade, America's most influential jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Dave Brubeck, along with their racially-integrated bands, traveled the globe to perform as cultural ambassadors. But the unrest back home forced them to face a painful moral dilemma: how could they promote the image of a tolerant America abroad when the country still practiced Jim Crow segregation and racial equality remained an unrealized dream?

Told through striking archival film footage, photos and radio clips, with iconic performances throughout, the documentary reveals how the U.S. State Department unwittingly gave the
burgeoning Civil Rights movement a major voice on the world stage just when it needed one most.

PRECEDED BY

BABY WONT YOU PLEASE COME HOME
WORLD  PREMIERE
22m  Short  2017
DIRECTED BY: Christopher Piazza

Pearl Simmons (Michelle Hurst, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK), an aging jazz singer in brownstone Brooklyn, fights the early stages of Alzheimer's. While she presents a strong front to her daughter Cynthia (Melanie Nicholls-King, THE WIRE), her sense of place and time begin to slip, and her memories of her days as a jazz singer in 1970s New York clash with the present. Cynthia, struggling to care for her mother, considers an offer to sell the family's home.

A deeply emotional film about family, memory and music. Featuring brilliant performances from Hurst and  Nicholls-King, the film tells a multigenerational story spanning four decades in the life of one New York City family. It touches on themes of disability, elder care and gentrification while also showcasing adapted and original music from Julliard trained jazz musician Andrew Gutauskas, performed by Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Jazzmeia Horn.

Location

Flex 1 - Dwyer Cultural Center (View)
258 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10027
United States


Categories

None

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!

Contact

Owner: Harlem International Film Festival
On BPT Since: Apr 18, 2017
 
Harlem International
info@harlemfilmfestival.org
harlemfilmfestival.org
 


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