From Wes Anderson to Benjamin Britten

Seeing a new Wes Anderson movie is like getting a new mix tape. The soundtracks to his films blend original scores  — often by Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh — with pop music that summons an air of fragile nostalgia: Nick Drake, Nico, middle-period Kinks, French yeh-yeh music. Classical music also plays a part in his […]

Mozart’s Sister

When I first heard about the new French film, Mozart’s Sister, I immediately marked November 4th on my calendar, because Rene Feret’s new film opens at DC’s E Street Cinema today! Feret has made clear that the film is largely fiction, with historical roots in the Mozart family dynamics and women’s status in 18th-century Austrian […]

Pic of the Week: An Evening with David Amram

I first met composer and multi-instrumentalist David Amram 25 years ago when we did a late night radio interview at WPFW-FM. I knew about his music, of course, his film scores (The Manchurian Candidate, Splendor In The Grass, Pull My Daisy) and collaborations with leading jazz, classical, folk and world music artists. But that free-wheeling […]

Jazz in the Spring: David Amram

The following post is by Larry Appelbaum, Senior Reference Specialist, Music Division. For the final night of the Library’s Jazz Film Series, we celebrate composer David Amram, who at age 80 continues to break ground in jazz, classical and world music. As a jazz French horn player, Amram worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy […]

Jazz in the Spring at the Nation’s Library

Next week, the Music Division’s popular jazz film series returns to the Mary Pickford Theater.  Senior Reference Specialist and In the Muse blogger Larry Appelbaum curated the series and provided program notes. Monday evenings at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. No tickets or reservations needed. Limited seating begins at 6:30pm. […]

Celebrating the Oscars at the Nation’s Library

This month the Music Division is excited to sponsor a special film series called Celebrating the Oscars at the Nation’s Library, curated by Music Reference Specialist James Wintle. Every Wednesday evening for the next four weeks, the public is welcome and encouraged to join us for screenings of the following Oscar-winning films: March 9, 7:00pm […]

This week on Flickr, and Macca on Film

Today we release another one hundred images from the William P. Gottlieb Collection to Flickr Commons. This week’s selection offers iconic photos of the trumpet legend Louis Armstrong, clarinet player Sidney Bechet, composer Leonard Bernstein, and vocalist June Christy. And, as is often the case, there is something unexpected in the mix. This week’s surprise is a series of […]

Jazz in the Spring: Han Bennink

Next Monday, April 26th, the Mary Pickford Theater will screen Jellie Dekker’s Han Bennink: Hazentijd (2009),  the last in the film series Jazz in the Spring curated by Larry Appelbaum. Dutch Drummer and visual artist Han Bennink, who celebrated his 68th birthday on April 17th, is the subject of this stylized documentary, which follows Bennink’s […]

Dexter Gordon

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people.”  Those are the words of tenor saxophone great Dexter Gordon, born in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 1923. Gordon performed with Lionel Hampton’s and Louis Armstrong’s bands in the 1940s, and […]