America's Music Film & Discussion: The Blues And Gospel Music

Wednesday March 20, 2013: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Experience the history of American popular music when AADL presents America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway. This eight-week series features documentary film screenings and discussions at the Downtown Library focusing on twentieth-century American popular music. Throughout the series, related concerts performed by some of the area's most prominent musicians will be presented both at the Library and at Kerrytown Concert House.

Mark Clague, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director of Research at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, leads this Blues and Gospel Music screening and discussion session focusing on segments from the films "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Episode 1: Feel Like Going Home" and "Say Amen, Somebody."

The 2004 Emmy-award winning "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" is a lyrical journey into the landscape and origins of the blues. Moving between past and present, contemporary blues musician Corey Harris serves as on-camera guide, dialoguing with local artists like Willy King and Sam Carr on front porches in the Alabama hills and juke joints in Mississippi.

The 1983 cinema verite classic "Say Amen, Somebody" appeared on many 10 Best Films of the Year lists and received multiple awards for Best Documentary. This 17-minute segment features three epochal figures who pioneered the Golden Age of Gospel Music: Willie Mae Ford Smith, Thomas A. Dorsey and Sallie Martin.

The Ann Arbor District Library is one of fifty sites nationwide to host this program series, which is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. America's Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. The AADL series is also co-sponsored by The Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library, Kerrytown Concert House, UMS and WCBN 88.3 FM.

A related concert, featuring Peter Madcat Ruth, will be held at 8:00 pm at Kerrytown Concert House on Thursday, March 21.