Arts + Culture

Sembène Film Festival: Eddie Jefferson

Dec 16, 2019 - Dec 16, 2019 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

The revered Jazz vocalist Eddie Jefferson, who was born in Pittsburgh 101 years ago, is captured in his last recorded performance at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago on May 6, 1979.  Jefferson is credited as the inventor of vocalese. He is probably most famously associated his best-known song Moody’s Mood for Love.  Vocalese is the art of jazz vocal improvisation over famous instrumental melodies, which are often in the bebop style. 

Richie Cole was a friend, mentee and frequent collaborator with Eddie Jefferson and co-stars in this film. Mr. Cole appears in this documentary and shared the stage with Jefferson up until his untimely death, two days after this film recording, in Detroit, Michigan.

Richie 1 McwilliamsRichie Cole started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his home town of Trenton, New Jersey. His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” style in the 70’s and early 80’s.

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival – is a group of scholars, activists and film aficionados. Our mission is to celebrate the life, showcase the work and honor the legacy of African Filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, through film and other complementary cultural events. The Festival serves both as a vehicle and catalyst: to honor the life, work and legacy of Ousmane Sembène and to showcase film makers and other art/cultural events that speak, unflinchingly, to the important issues facing the modern African Diaspora.

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