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Press Release

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

PR0407E | Date: 2004-02-06

On February 12 (Thursday), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the AIT American Cultural Center will show "The Adventure," the ninth 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. The closing episode will be shown on February 26.

Episode nine examines Jazz music in America in the late 1950s as the postwar prosperity continues and a growing demand for civil rights takes shape. In this episode Louis Armstrong, at the risk of losing his career, speaks out against southern defiance of the Constitution. Miles Davis overcomes a narcotics addiction and signs with Columbia Records to make a series of legendary albums, eventually becoming an icon for an entire generation of Americans. The episode describes how Duke Ellington recaptured the nation's ear with a successful performance at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival and follows drummer Art Blakey as he forms his "Jazz Messengers" - Hard Bop group, which will become a proving ground for young musicians over the next forty years. It also takes a look at two old stars - Billie Holiday and Lester Young, who pass away not long after making an extraordinary appearance together on television. Meanwhile, three adventurous saxophone masters, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman, make their premiers and with their bold "Free" playing eventually foster the launching of a new jazz movement - the avant-garde.

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 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: