Avery Center hosts Black Music Film Festival Saturday 

Honoring some black musical greats

In honor of Black Music Month, College of Charleston's Avery Research Center is hosting a film festival this Sat. June 20.

Here's the schedule, according to the website.

12:30 p.m. Playing for Change, a collective musical statement from over 100 musicians spanning five continents, using music to demonstrate a profound human connection and willingness to unite. (30 minutes)

1 p.m. The Songs Are Free. Bernice Johnson Reagon, founder of the musical group Sweet Honey in the Rock,  discusses with Bill Moyers how black music has shaped the African American experience and identity. Live musical performances, educational workshops, and archival footage of Reagon and noted Civil Rights leaders are included.

2:15 p.m. The Jenkins Orphanage Band.  A documentary on the significance of the Jenkins Orphanage Band, long recognized as a cultural institution within the city of Charleston. The famed band was founded by the Rev. Daniel Jenkins in 1892 in order to attract funding for the orphanage. The band performed before royalty, celebrated the inauguration of a president, and became world-renowned as the City of Charleston’s “cultural ambassadors.”

3:30 p.m. The Dancing Man: Peg Leg Bates. At 12 years of age, Clayton Bates lost his leg in a cotton gin accident. This film details his life story, amazing spirit,  athleticism, and incredible dance scenes. Peg Leg Bates overcame the odds to become one of the greatest tap dancers of all time.

4:45 p.m. A Night In Havana: Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba.  A truly entertaining film showcasing jazz musician and pioneer Dizzy Gillespie during a trip to Cuba. Includes footage of Gillespie being warmly greeted by Fidel Castro, and presenting him with  To Be Or Not To Bop, a biography of Gillespie, penned by Charlestonian Al Fraser.

6 p.m. Free and Equal Blues. This film has rare performances from legendary singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist Josh White who influenced and inspired a generation of folk and blues singers. The hugely popular  White was branded a Communist sympathizer because of his activism, and  subsequently blacklisted. He was a confidant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Roosevelts were godparents to his son, Josh White, Jr.

7:15 p.m. Standing in the Shadows of Motown. This documentary celebrates the Funk Brothers, the team of studio musicians heard on the majority of Motown's hit songs. We get an important look into the musical genius of James Jamerson and the other Funk Brothers, and an understanding of the power behind the Motown Sound.


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