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Press Release

American Cultural Center to Present the Third Episode of "Jazz," a Film by Ken Burns

PR0359E | Date: 2003-11-10

On November 13 (Thursday), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the AIT American Cultural Center will show "Our Language," the third episode of Ken Burns' documentary "Jazz" as part of its film program on the history of jazz. The program examines the origins of Jazz and the cultural and historical events that relate directly with the music.

This episode explores the historical underpinnings of how jazz made its way into the dance halls and speakeasies around the country and how the music started to place more emphasis on the innovations of supremely gifted individuals. During this period, improvising soloists and singers took center stage for the first time. This episode tells the story of Jazz legends such as Bessie Smith and her "Blues business," Bix Beiderbecke and his rise to fame, and also explores the important contributions white musicians made to jazz. This episode also recounts the rise of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Sidney Bechet and looks at Duke Ellington's musical breakthrough and national popularity during the Harlem Renaissance. Noteworthy in this episode is Louis Armstrong's debut in Chicago of his first great masterpiece, "West End Blues," which established jazz as a world-renowned, expressive art, and crowns him the music's presiding genius.

A poster show entitled "The King of Jazz: Louis Armstrong" and relevant books and materials will also be displayed in the American Cultural Center during the screening of the film.

Over the next 4 months (11/28/2003 through 2/26/2004), the remaining 7 parts will be shown every other week on Thursday evenings, except for public holidays. The complete film program schedule, with episode summaries, is available on request.

The American Cultural Center is located at Suite 2101, 21F, No. 333, Keelung Road, Section 1, Taipei. The program is open to the public without charge. Pre-registration is suggested to ensure a seat and an information packet on the relevant episode. To indicate your interest, obtain a schedule, or more information on this series, please contact Morris Huang at 2723-3959 ext. 215; or Patricia Wang ext. 285; fax 2725-2644;