As part of The Jazz Loft Project exhibit, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University presents a screening of the documentary In My Mind on Monday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The film will be introduced by Jason Moran, jazz pianist and subject of the film, and followed by a Q&A session with filmmakers Gary Hawkins and Emily LaDue. Admission is free. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza.
In My Mind is a high-energy performance-based documentary telling the story of rising jazz pianist Jason Moran's 50th anniversary tribute to Thelonious Monk's legendary 1959 Town Hall concert. Featuring Moran and his Big Bandwagon, collaborating visual artists Glenn Ligon and David Dempewolf, Monk's original French horn player Robert 'Brother Ah' Northern, and photographer and audiophile Eugene Smith's recently discovered images and recordings of Monk's rehearsals from the 'Jazz Loft' in NYC, In My Mind reveals the layered personalities of the music and the artists in two of the finest jazz shows, half a century apart.
The February 2009 performance of In My Mind was documented by the Center for Documentary Studies instructors Gary Hawkins and Emily LaDue, with students from their Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking course. The film carries on Moran’s intentions of documenting an eclectic jazz story spanning 50 years, through a combination of concert footage, behind-the-scenes action, interviews, improvisation, and historical content while still upholding the integrity of Thelonious Monk’s original music. In My Mind, through the combination Moran’s stellar performance and interviews with Moran and members of The Big Bandwagon, provides valuable insight into the process of artistic and musical collaboration for jazz aficionados and documentary-lovers alike. The film has been selected to premiere at the 13th Annual Full Frame Documentary Festival in April.
In My Mind was commissioned by Duke Performances/Duke University, Jazz at Symphony Center/Chicago, SFJAZZ, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.
About Jason Moran
Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the late 90s, jazz pianist Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole.
In almost every category that matters – improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation – Moran, and his group The Bandwagon – with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits – have challenged the status quo, and earned the reputation as “the future of jazz.”
In 2007, Moran was commissioned to create In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall, 1959, the critically-acclaimed multi-media performance investigating Thelonious Monk’s famous recording, Monk at Town Hall. IN MY MIND examines Monk’s process of creating this seminal concert using audio of conversations with Monk and the arranger Hal Overton. This personal experience has been transformed into a feature documentary entitled In My Mind by director Gary Hawkins. In April 2010, the film will premiere at the 13th Annual Full Frame Documentary Festival, and will have a special screening with the New York Public Library as part of the Jazz Loft Project exhibition.
Moran is currently preparing for the release of Ten, his 10th anniversary album with The Bandwagon, on June 22, 2010. The trailblazing trio has proven to be one of the most enduring and creative piano trios in jazz today.
About The Jazz Loft Project
From 1957 to 1965 legendary photographer W. Eugene Smith made approximately 4,000 hours of recordings on 1,741 reel-to-reel tapes and nearly 40,000 photographs in a loft building in Manhattan’s wholesale flower district where major jazz musicians of the day gathered and played their music. Until the Jazz Loft Project began almost a decade ago, the tapes had not been played since they were archived, following Smith’s death in 1978, at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona.
The Jazz Loft Project, organized by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in cooperation with the Center for Creative Photography and the Smith estate, is devoted to preserving and cataloging Smith’s tapes, researching the jazz loft photographs, and obtaining oral history interviews with all surviving loft participants. The project began with the preservation of Smith’s tapes (all of Smith’s original 1,741 reels of loft tapes have been transferred to digital files), which has allowed researchers at CDS to listen to them for the first time since they were recorded and to catalogue their contents. The transferred recordings reveal high sound quality and extraordinary musical and cultural content, offering unusual documentation of an after-hours New York jazz scene.
The Jazz Loft Project at the Center for Documentary Studies was made possible through the generous support of the Reva and David Logan Foundation, with significant additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy Foundation), the Duke University Office of the Provost, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Ken and Amelia Jacob, and Kimpton Hotels.
The Center for Documentary Studies has focused since its creation in 1989 on cultivating new talent in the documentary field. From international awards to award-winning books, from exhibitions of new and established artists to fieldwork projects in the U.S., from university undergraduate courses to popular summer institutes, attracting students from across the country—the Center for Documentary Studies is actively engaged in sharing the documentary arts with a broad audience and in educating students of all ages and levels of expertise. For more information about The Jazz Loft Project or the Center for Documentary Studies, see http://cds.aas.duke.edu or www.jazzloftproject.org
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-eight branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.
Contact: Jonathan Pace | 212.592.7710 | Jonathan_Pace@nypl.org
Limited In My Mind screeners are available upon request.