Wartburg News

'America's Music' series — blues to Broadway — coming to Wartburg

Wartburg College will host “America’s Music,” a six-week series featuring films by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Ken Burns and highlighting iconic musicians and plays.

The series, subtitled “A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway,” also includes tributes to the greats of gospel, jazz, rock, mambo and hip hop on consecutive Thursdays, Sept. 12-Oct. 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The programs are free and open to the public, with most sessions in McCaskey Lyceum in Saemann Student Center, except for Oct. 3 and 10 at the Waverly Public Library.

Wartburg music faculty members Dr. Geoffrey Wilson and Dr. Paula Survilla will lead discussions following the films.

“We’re very excited to bring the community together to investigate, discuss and celebrate the legacy of these American musical genres,” said program director Jill Westen, a Wartburg information literacy librarian.

The sessions include:

  • Sept. 12 — “Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues,” a Grammy- and Emmy-winning film about the blues from Lead Belly, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker to contemporaries Corey Harris, Willy King and Sam Carr. Also, “Say Amen, Somebody,” one of Rolling Stones’ 10 best films of 1983, showcases the Golden Age of Gospel Music.
  • Sept. 19 — “Broadway: The American Musical,” an Emmy winner narrated by Julie Andrews with music from Tin Pan Alley to Rogers and Hart to Stephen Sondheim.
  • Sept. 26 — “Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns,” a Television Critics Award recipient focusing on the music of Count Basie and Benny Goodman.
  • Oct. 3 — “High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music,” honored by numerous film festivals, begins with Bill Monroe and includes such greats as Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Martin and Flatt and Scruggs. “International Sweethearts of Rhythm,” an American Film Festival winner, tells of a multiracial, all-female swing band from Mississippi that became a Depression Era sensation.
  • Oct. 10 — The Emmy-nominated “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” features a meeting between Bob Dylan and The Beatles and the music of Arlo Guthrie, Judi Collins, Bruce Springsteen, the Beach Boys and Jimi Hendrix.
  • Oct. 17 — “Latin Music” describes the progression of rhythms and influence of rock (“Louie, Louie,” “Satisfaction” and “Daytripper”). “From Mambo to Hip Hop” celebrates the origins of the genres in the South Bronx and performers such as Kid Freeze, D.J. Charlie Chase, Popmaster Fabel Pabon and Bom 5.

The series is a project of the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the America Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint and the Society for American Music. The Wartburg sessions were made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information, go to http://library.wartburg.edu/americasmusic.aspx.