Film + Jazz Brunch
Penn Annenberg Professor Josh Kun asserts in the award-winning documentary BODY AND SOUL: AN AMERICAN BRIDGE that “every musical encounter is a cross-cultural encounter.” If these words ring true, then the song “Body and Soul” may well be the definitive musical bridge linking African American and American Jewish music together in perpetuity.
One of the most celebrated jazz standards of the early twentieth century, “Body and Soul” was written by the Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929. While introduced to the Broadway stage by way of a Jewish torch singer named Libby Holman, it was not until Louis Armstrong sang it in his signature playful style that the song was truly ushered into the jazz canon. With later renditions performed by the color barrier-breaking Benny Goodman Trio, the song came to illustrate the complex musical interplay between American Jewish and African American cultures.
In tying together the loose strings which helped to establish the song’s enduring cultural resonance, filmmaker Robert Philipson reveals a rich confluence of musical ingenuity and collaboration between the great Black and Jewish musicians of yesteryear. Winner of Best Music Documentary at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, BODY AND SOUL: AN AMERICAN BRIDGE is a testament to the timeless power of music to bring people together.
This film will be followed by a live jazz performance and soul food brunch.