Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2013 Films: The Librarian and The Banjo

The Librarian and The Banjo by Jim Carrier
Milwaukee (Milwaukee Premiere)
Running Time: 56 Minutes
Screening Time: Oct 26th Noon.
Tickets $10.00  Buy Tickets Here:

The true story of music librarian Dena Epstein who spent 25 years documenting the musical contributions of Africans slaves to the New World. Her classic work shattered stereotypes and prejudices, legitimized the study of America’s biracial musical roots, proved that the banjo was a slave invention, and sparked a revival of black string band music. The film zooms from tranquil libraries to lively stages where banjos twang 300 years after slaves brought the instrument here. The film features Grammy-winning performers Bela Fleck, Eric Weissberg, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Information about the film's Subject :
Dena Julia Polacheck Epstein was born November 30, 1916 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin film tells the story of Dena Epstein, a music librarian, now 96 years old, whose trailblazing scholarship was the first to take on the old myths about the banjo and prove its African-American origins and West African roots. Her work shattered myths about the roots of American music, and has been described as “monumental.” The film features interviews with Dena (as everyone calls her), academics, banjo historians and musicians including the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka and Eric Weissberg. The soundtrack, from dozens of banjo players, includes music on gourd akontings, minstrel instruments and bluegrass banjos. Among featured artists are Stephen Wade, Sule Greg Wilson and Pura Fe. Among music historians interviewed in the film are: Bill Ferris (former NEH chairman), Bob Winans, Tony Thomas, Greg Adams, Laurent Dubois, Bobby Fulcher and Daniel Jatta.

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