You Got To Swing!
“You Got To Swing” is a jaunty and spirited portrait of Swing Central, a high school jazz band competition and workshop sponsored by the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, Georgia. Twelve of the finest bands from around the country are chosen to come to Savannah to “show their stuff” and hone their skills with the help of some of the finest jazz musicians and educators in the country. It’s a musical classroom, a series of all-star concerts and ultimately, a celebration of jazz. We hear from some jazz greats like trumpeter Marcus Printup: “teaching is a duty but something I enjoy almost as much as playing”; and Marcus Roberts: Jazz was created by regular people, it wasn’t a king or queen who decreed it”. We follow a talented band from Florida and their charismatic leader: “We put together a game plan this year, and they’re not going to deny us” as they prepare and ultimately triumph in the competition. Along the way, we hear from the pros as they describe their lives as musicians and deconstruct the mysteries of creating and playing America’s singular art form.
The Big Read
The Big Read was an initiative of The National Endowment for the Arts from the late 2000s. Citizens in individual communities across the country signed up to read major American novels together as part of a civic plan to promote good reading. Hundreds of communities participated, ultimately reading almost two dozen works. The Center for New American Media was commissioned to produce promotional video and radio spots for The Big Read initiative. Here are just a few of them, including To Kill A Mockingbird, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Fahrenheit 451, and The Great Gatsby.