documentary

Copyright Criminals Airs on November 29th on PBS

Copyright Criminals, the acclaimed documentary that charts the history of sampling in hip-hop and its modern clashes with outdated copyright law, will air on PBS’ Emmy Award-winning series “Independent Lens” the week of Nov. 29 (check local listings).

The film features in-depth interviews with Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, De La Soul, funk pioneer George Clinton, James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield, producer Steve Albini and many others.

Filmmakers Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod showcase not only hip-hop sampling’s pioneering artists, but also those whose work has been sampled thoroughly. Ultimately, they ask how should we fix our copyright laws to both encourage creativity with 21st century tools and still ensure that “original” creators get paid for their work?

The broadcast comes as creative technology advances on a near-weekly basis. When the last copyright law was passed in 1998, only 26 percent of homes had Internet access. Today, young people can film, soundtrack, edit and distribute movies globally, all from their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, artists like Girl Talk are shining bright lights on issues of copyright and creativity. Girl Talk’s new album, All Day, released for free Nov. 15, includes more than 350 samples.

Copyright Criminals’ innovative visuals include video remixes by Eclectic Method that illustrate for the viewer precisely what snippets of sound they’re hearing in dense sampling collages.

The film, which Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called “amazing,” was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. USA Today called Copyright Criminals “a compelling and insightful documentary illuminating both sides of a hotly debated issue.”

Director and producer Benjamin Franzen is the owner of the Atlanta-based production company Changing Images. Executive producer and writer Kembrew McLeod is an associate professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa, and author of Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, among other books.

DAVID AMRAM The First 80 Years! A Musical Celebration

DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years Jazz, a spectacular, historic celebration of a true American original whom the Washington Post has described as “one of the most versatile and skilled musicians America has ever produced,” will be presented by Jazz Forum Arts on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:30 PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, in Manhattan, it was announced by Mark Morganelli, Executive Director of the presenting organization. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clearwater, the organization founded by Pete Seeger, as well as the Woody Guthrie Foundation

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The historic concert will feature:

· The New York premiere of Amram’s “Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie” performed in memory of Odetta by the 60-piece Queens College Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Peress. The work will be introduced by Nora Guthrie, who commissioned it with support from the Guthrie Foundation, based on her father’s song “This Land is Your Land.”  

·The New York premiere screening of the finale of the recent production of Amram’s 1968 comic opera “Twelfth Night” with a libretto by the late Joe Papp, which will be introduced by Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer of the Lincoln Center Theater and former co-producer with Joe Papp of the New York Shakespeare Festival.

·The first ever concert performance of excerpts from Amram’s classic film scores, “Splendor in the Grass” (1960), and “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), performed by the Brooklyn Conservatory Jazz Ensemble, directed by Earl McIntyre, and The Jazz & Gospel Choirs, directed by Renee Manning.

· “En memoria de Chano Pozo” for Latin/jazz group and symphony orchestra, performed in memory of  Dizzy Gillespie by the Queens College Orchestra, conducted by David Amram, with guest soloists Candido (congas) and Bobby Sanabria (timbales) with Amram himself on piano, pennywhistles and percussion.  

·“One Heart, Many Voices,” performed by Amram’s Middle Eastern Trio with Avram Pengas (guitar and Bazookie) and Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza.

·Malachy McCourt will introduce Amram’s  “The Fox Hunt From Cork Meets The Blues From New York,” performed by Larry Kirwan (Black 47), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Amram’s Latin/Jazz Ensemble and dancers from the Stella Adler School of Acting.

·Actor John Ventimiglia (The Sopranos) will read excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” followed by performance Kerouac/Ginsburg/Cassady title song from the 1959 Best Documentary Film “Pull My Daisy.

The star-studded salute will also include filmed 80th birthday wishes from Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Willie Nelson, members of the N.Y. Philharmonic, and friends and colleagues from around the country. There will also be appearances and performances by Amram’s friends from the world of theatre, film and music, including actor Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey), Josh White Jr., Patience Higgins,  the Amram Family Band and current members and alumni of Amram's quartets from the past 40 years, as well as other surprise guests.  

The entire concert will be filmed by Lawrence Kraman for his documentary film “David Amram: The First 80 Years,” segments of which will be shown for the first time at this concert. To see links for the trailer, visit here and for the poster.

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During his illustrious career, David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works; numerous scores for Broadway theater and film; two operas, and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac.  He is also the author of three books, published by Paradigm Publishers.  A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, in addition to being a renowned improvisational lyricist.  Amram has collaborated with Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Depp, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Tito Puente and Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966.  One of Amram's most recent works, Giants of the Night, a flute concerto, was commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway.  Today, as he has for over 50 years, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, bandleader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages.  He celebrates his 80th birthday on November 17th.  Additional information is available at http://www.davidamram.com/

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Tickets for DAVID AMRAM: The First 80 Years are: $75, $55 and $35 (members, students, seniors: $70, $50 and $30; children: $65, $45 and $25) and can be purchased at the Symphony Space Box Office, 212.864.5400, or at http://www.symphonyspace.org.  For information about Jazz Forum Arts, call 888.99.BEBOP, or visit http://www.jazzforumarts.org/.

"When You're Strange: A Film About the Doors" @ Boulder Theater

Following a prestigious festival run, WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS, has been featured at the Sundance, Berlin, Deauville and San Sebastian Film Festivals and most recently played to sold-out shows at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Produced by Wolf Films/Strange Pictures, in association with Rhino Entertainment, and released by Abramorama, the 90-minute film is the first feature documentary about The DoorsWHEN YOU’RE STRANGE uncovers historic and previously unseen footage of the illustrious rock quartet and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of its music and legacy.  Directed by award-winning writer/director Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp, the film is a riveting account of the band’s history.
Said Depp, “Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this.  What an honor to have been involved.  I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done.”
The film reveals an intimate perspective on the creative chemistry between drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison — four brilliant artists who made The Doors one of America’s most iconic and influential rock bands. Using footage shot between the band’s 1965 formation and Morrison’s 1971 death, WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE follows the band from the corridors of UCLA’s film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.
Wednesday May 19, 8pm
Boulder Weekly Films presents
WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS
GA / All Ages / $10.00
Tickets are on sale through the Boulder Theater box office
Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com

"Chasin' Gus' Ghost" Jug Band Documentary Screens In Hartford, CT

John Sebastian- for the Grateful Web

Fresh off the heels of a sold-out world premiere screening at the Woodstock Film Festival earlier this month, jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is set to screen at the Hartford International Film Festival in Hartford, CT on November 10th at 7PM.

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's-who of 60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead); David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Stamford, Connecticut-born Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.

Highlights of this "inspiring" (Allaboutjazz.com) film include Bob Weir recalling the first time he met Jerry Garcia and the eventual formation of the Grateful Dead, vintage performance footage of Lovin' Spoonful and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and newspaper clippings, photos and archival video footage of jug band musicians dating as far back as the 1920s.  All are rare treats for music and documentary lovers.

What: Screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost"
Where: The University of Hartford's Wilde Auditorium, Hartford, CT
When: November 10th at 7PM
Tickets: $10 for "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" screening, available at the Wilde Auditorium before the screening and online at http://www.capitolcinemacollective.org.

Jug Band Documentary Featured at Woodstock Film Festival

photos by Mike Moran- for the Grateful Web

Woodstock, New York has a deep connection with film and music.  The area was featured in "Woodstock," a documentary about the best-known music festival of all time. Another famous film, "The Last Waltz," features The Band, which made Woodstock their home for many years, as did Bob Dylan, a featured performer in that Scorsese film.  

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Sebastian, another Woodstock resident and 1969 Woodstock festival performer, is featured in the new film "Chasin' Gus' Ghost," which will make its debut on October 13th at the Woodstock Film Festival.    

In recent years, the Woodstock Film Festival has emerged as one of the country's premier festivals and has screened many music documentaries including "Standing in the Shadows of  Motown" and "My Generation."  The 2007 festival will feature "The Future Is Unwritten," "Living The Blues," the Bob Dylan-inspired "I'm Not There" and "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" - a film that takes us on a three-continent journey to explore the legacy of jug band music and the influence it has had on artists such as John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), Bob Weir (Grateful Dead) and Geoff and Maria Muldaur.

What: "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" at the Woodstock Film Festival
When: October 13th at 10PM
Where: Bearsville Theater (291 Tinker Street)
More info: The box office is located at the Woodstock Playhouse (corner of route 212 & 375).  Tickets are $10.  

Film trailer: http://youtube.com/watch?v=S3kZK2EBTwE
www.chasingusghost.com
www.woodstockfilmfestival.com

STARS ALIGN IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM DEBUT AND CONCERT CELEBRATING ROOTS AND INFLUENCE OF JUG BAND MUSIC

David Grisman- for the Grateful Web

John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur and More Come Together for the Debut of Chasin' Gus' Ghost on August 25, and "Extravaganza" Concert on August 26.

As part of this year's San Francisco Jug Band Festival, Ezzie Films will debut its documentary on the roots and influence of jug band music.  Chasin' Gus' Ghost, which features performances and commentary by many popular musicians including John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, will premiere on August 25.  The "Chasin' Gus' Ghost Jug Band Extravaganza" concert will include many of the featured artists and take place on August 26.

What:  Chasin' Gus' Ghost documentary film debut and concert celebrating the history and influence of jug band music.  From 1920s genre innovators Gus Cannon and Cannon's Jug Stompers to the modern Jim Kweskin Jug Band, the film explores every aspect of this influential roots music. The film trailer is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsELhdJohkA

Who: Hosted by filmmaker Todd Kwait, the concert will showcase popular musicians featured in the film, including John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, David Grisman, Fritz Richmond's Barbecue Orchestra and special guests.

When and Where:
Screenings: There will be two screenings of Chasin' Gus' Ghost, at 7:00pm and 9:00pm, on Saturday, August 25 at the Roxie New College Film Center.  Tickets for the screening are $9 each.

The Roxie New College Film Center
3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
http://www.roxie.com

Concert: The Chasin' Gus' Ghost Jug Band Extravaganza takes place at 8:00pm on Sunday, August 26 at the Great American Music Hall.  Tickets are $28 and are available in advance.

The Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
http://www.gamh.com/artist_pages/jug_band_extravaganza_082607.htm