America's Music Film & Discussion: Country And Bluegrass

Wednesday April 17, 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 screening and discussion session on Country And Bluegrass Music focusing on the film "High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music."

This lovingly realized 1994 documentary presents the history of this subgenre of country music through the story of Bill Monroe, considered the father of bluegrass. Weaving haunting archival footage and photographs from the 1930's and 40's with toe-tapping live performances, the film traces the origins of bluegrass music from the Kentucky hills of Appalachia through the innovations which shaped its current form. The film provides on-camera commentary by bluegrass greats including Mac Wiseman and Jimmy Martin, as well as rarely seen tapes of Flatt and Scruggs, both of whom played with Monroe's Bluegrass Boys.

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 Bill Bynum and Co. will be held at 1:00 pm in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room on Saturday, April 20.