Filmmakers Abraham Ravett and Joel Sax will screen their films, discuss their work, and answer questions.
Forgotten Tenor (1994) b/w, 16mm, pays tribute to Wardell Gray, considered by many one of the greatest and most unheralded tenor saxophonists in American Black Classical Music. Utilizing a combination of rare archival footage, family photographs, memorabilia, and conversations with family and colleagues, the film attempts to resurrect the presence of this great musician and pay tribute to his accomplishments. Included are conversations with such musicians as Clark Terry, Teddy Edwards, Buddy DeFranco, Gus Johnson and Jimmy Lewis, among others.
Blues and The Abstract Truth (2014) color & b/w, is a non-fiction film that explores the complexities of orchestrating the 1961, Blues and The Abstract Truth recording session led by saxophonist, arranger and composer, Oliver Nelson. Considered by many one of the best albums made during the 1960's and certainly the singular Nelson recoding that to this day, continues to be played on radio stations throughout the country. Blues and The Abstract Truth featured Oliver Nelson on alto and tenor saxophone plus a lineup of notable musicians: The film pays tribute to Oliver Nelson and his fellow musicians.
Yiddish Folksingers on Miami Beach (1991), combines ethnography and an impressionistic film style to tell the story of the last folksong gatherings of immigrant Jewish elders on Miami Beach. The film is a series of profiles of colorful and suntanned Jewish elders on the beach, in hotel lobbies and in nursing homes. This piece raises questions about the transmission of Jewish musical tradition and contemplates the passing of the last generation of Yiddish speakers.
Abraham Ravett, professor of film and photography, holds a B.A. in psychology from Brooklyn College, a B.F.A. in filmmaking and photography from the Massachusetts College of Art, and an M.F.A. in filmmaking from Syracuse University. Complementing a career in filmmaking and photography, he has also worked as a videomaker and media consultant. Professor Ravett has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, the Japan Foundation, the Artists Foundation, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation among other awards. His films have been screened internationally at sites including The Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Film Archives in New York City, Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, Innis Film Society, Toronto, Canada, and Image Forum, Tokyo, Japan. www.hampshire.edu/faculty/abraham-ravett
Joel Saxe teaches video in the Art Department at Greenfield Community College and courses in oral history, ethnicity and popular culture at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Mount Holyoke College. He has conducted a long-term oral history and visual documentation project on Yiddish culture and Jewish radicalism in New York and Miami Beach. As a media activist, he is involved with community media literacy projects. www.umass.edu/communication/people/profile/joel-saxe