I have had a Fall filled with travel. In late September In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland was screened at the Savannah Jazz Festival. It was a fun screening. The audience filled the seating area under the tent in the outside dining area of Blowin’ Smoke BBQ.
Although it was interesting to hear the occasional bus go by while watching the film. In the audience was Ben Tucker, who played bass for Marian for several years. Ben now lives in Savannah. Larry Dane-Kellog of the Savannah Jazz Festival and Jim Reed of the Psychotronic Film Society were the event hosts and really did a good job getting the word out on the screening. JinHi, director of the Muse Arts Warehouse, was a big help with DVD sales after the screening.
In October I headed out to Seattle for 2 full house screenings at Northwest Film Forum as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. Paul de Barros read from his book on Marian, Shall We Play That One Together?, at each screening, Paul and I also took part in a Q&A after the screenings. I met Paul in 2008 when he was doing research for his book at Marian’s house and I was there filming one of the several interviews with Marian. We kept in touch helping each other out as best we could with research questions. The book fills in all the details on Marian’s personal and professional life that are too time consuming to add in a film. Plus Paul is a good writer and knows jazz. He is the long time jazz critic for the Seattle Times.
While in Seattle I took in some sites like the Space Tower and the Seattle Public Library, an architectural gem. The ferry boat ride on the Puget Sound out to Bremerton gave me glimpses of the city’s skyline with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Although it never was quite clear enough to see Mt. Rainer. I enjoyed the great food, sights, and sounds of Pike Place Market which was right down the street from where I was staying at the Moore Hotel. I never did see the ghost that I was told haunts the Moore.
From Seattle I came home for 1 day of teaching classes at SMCC. The next day I was off to New York City for a Marian McPartland celebration at the National Jazz Museum Harlem. Paul read from his book. Jon Weber, who is seen in In Good Time demonstrating Marian’s piano playing and improvisational style, did a similar presentation on Marian’s own tunes. Karrin Allyson closed the evening with a stellar performance singing 2 of Marian’s tunes, There’ll Be Other Times and Twilight World.
Afterwards I joined Donna Gourdal, Jimmy McPartland’s granddaughter, her husband Jacques, Nancy Christiansen, Marian’s secretary, and others at Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant. Good food, good times, and good company made for an appropriate ending to the celebration.
The next day, Friday, I walked down to 56th Street and to Nola Studios in the Steinway Piano showroom building. Judy Carmichael, a dynamo of a musician, educator, and radio show host, interviewed me for her radio show, Jazz Inspired. This is aired on Sirius Real Jazz channel and is syndicated across the nation and available at http://jazzinspired.com/guests/ . Judy has a way of making you feel relaxed and asks thoughtful questions about the creative process. I’ll send out the air date as soon as I know.
The following day, Saturday, October 27, and 2 days before Sandy arrived, I was at the Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington, NY on Long Island. This is Marian’s hometown. Paul de Barros read excerpts from Shall We Play That One Together? and I showed clips from In Good Time. The highlight though was that Marian was there! Both Paul and I were honored that she came to the event. Dolphin owner, Patti Vunk, is doing a fantastic job with her bookshop and cafe which is always having live events and family activities.
The next day, Sunday, I was back in Maine in time for an afternoon screening of In Good Time at PMA Movies, Portland Museum of Art. Steve Halpert is a long time supporter of my films from his days as owner of the Movies on Exchange St., to his current role as artistic director for PMA Movies.
Now I am planning for a jazz brunch and screening on Sunday, November 18, at Frontier Cinema, Brunswick. This starts with a performance with Maine’s own young rising jazz star, Hattie Simon at 1PM. I’ll screen In Good Time at 2PM and do a Q&A with the audience afterwards. Marian is big supporter of young musicians and jazz education and it has proven successful to have jazz acts open the show at other screenings. Hattie, a seasoned performer at age 16, is a dedicated and extraordinary jazz singer I’m sure you will enjoy. The event is sponsored by the Maine Film and Video Association. Frontier is a cafe with a screening room so come and enjoy food, fun, live jazz, and the incomparable Marian McPartland on film.
I hope to see you at a screening. Thanks for your support.
November 18, Sunday Jazz Brunch and Movie
Frontier Cinema, Fort Andross, Brunswick, ME
1PM Hattie Simon, singer and pianist, with Nick Thomson-Brown
2PM In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland, with Huey and Q&A afterwards
$8 General admission, $5 MFVA members