Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Press Release

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

On January 29 (Thursday), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the AIT American Cultural Center will show "Risk," the eighth episode of Ken Burns' documentary "Jazz" as part of its film program on the history of jazz. The 10-part video series celebrates America's greatest original art form and examines its origins and development.

This episode examines Jazz music in America during the escalation of the Cold War and the growing threat of nuclear annihilation. As America experiences a new level of prosperity, nationwide tastes of music are changing, as young people turn to sentimental singers and rhythm and blues. The big bands leave the road one after another, but Duke Ellington keeps his band together, while Louis Armstrong spreads his music and fame around the globe through his small group the "All-Stars." This episode also describes how bebop musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker create the most demanding, thrilling, and inventive jazz music to date. A devastating narcotics plague overwhelms the jazz community, ruining lives and changing the dynamics of performance during this period. Charlie Parker never overcomes his addiction to narcotics, killing himself at the age of 34. This episode also explores how gifted musicians including Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis - find ways to attract new audiences to Jazz.

A poster show titled "Portrait of a New Generation: African American Leaders Living the Legacy of Martin Luther King" will also be displayed along with relevant books during the screening of the film.

The remaining 2 parts will be shown in the evenings on 12 February (Episode 9) and February 26 (Episode 10). 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 Vicky Tsao at 2723-3959 ext. 283; or Meiling Liao ext. 202; fax 2725-2644; e-mail: