From the Desk Of: Eugene Marlow
2024 Upcoming Events
2024
April 30 JAZZ IN ARABIC CULTURE DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: Documentarian Eugene Marlow shows excerpts from his formative documentary “Jazz in Arabic Culture” for the 24 hours of International Jazz Day. Link provided on April 30, 2024 at midnight.
February 17 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Latin jazz original “Flight II,” performed and recorded by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with ArcoIris Sandoval at the piano, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
February 9 NEW ALBUM RELEASE: MEII Enterprises proudly releases a second album from the Ben Sutin Quartet. Titled “Mr. Inevitable,” the seven-track album consists of all Sutin originals. The album is available on all major digital platforms and Bandcamp. Watch an album video hereSutin’s first album with MEII Enterprises was “Hard Bop Hanukkah” (2020). 
February 8-11 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is an “official selection” of the “Third Annual (2024) Spotlight on Academics Film Festival.” It is shown via ResearchTV.ca. This is the 12th film festival to officially select the documentary. So far, it is the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the 2022 Depth of Field International Film Festival and was the first place winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Film Festival.”
January 13-14 APAP 2024: Eugene Marlow, Ph.D. attends the annual meeting of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (New York City) as a journalist. Marlow will write an article about the international exhibitors attending the multi-day event at the New York Hilton (midtown).  
January 12 “BOARDED AND BROKEN” DOCUMENTARY SHOWING: The New Plaza Cinema (scroll down a bit) shows “Boarded & Broken,” a documentary short photographic essay by Glenda F. Hydler with  a music underscore composed by Dr. Eugene Marlow (who also produced and directed the work). The photographs represent some of the businesses that covered up during and after the vandalism around New York City in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Temporary structures were created in the name of “security.” They were boarded and broken, but not forgotten.  The short film festival is organized by filmmaker Michael Jacobsohn. New Plaza Cinema is located at 35 West 67th Street in Manhattan, New York. Starts at 7:30 p.m. General seating: $15; Seniors: $12. 
January 6 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean original “El Ache de Sanabria,” an homage to friend and colleague Bobby Sanabria, performed and recorded by the Grammy-nominated “Multiverse Big Band” on the Jazzheads label, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
January 1 Dr. Marlow begins a one-semester fellowship leave from Baruch College to work on his nascent new documentary “Jazz in Arabic Culture”. He returns to teach courses in media and culture at Baruch College on August 28, 2024.
2023
December 16 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean arrangement of “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,” performed by his Heritage Ensemble,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
November 26 Dr. Eugene Marlow is informed his blog “Remembering Bill Evans: A Personal Account,” originally published in 2013, was to be included in an anthology of “best writing by jazz journalists.” The volume, sponsored by the Jazz Journalists Association, will be published by Cymbal Press in 2024. 
November 7 MEII ENTERPRISES ARTIST PERFORMANCE: Violinist/Composer Ben Sutin’s fourth album “Mr. Inevitable” is performed by the quartet at a pre-release show at Shapeshifter Lab in Park Slope (New York City) on Tuesday, November 7th starting at 6pm! Shapeshifter Lab is located at 837 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Sutin’s album will be officially released on February 9, 2024. 
November 1 GRAMMYU: GrammyU, the mentor/mentee arm of the Recording Academy (the Grammys) has paired Dr. Eugene Marlow (mentor) with French-born Amelia Rolland (mentee), a recent singer-songwriter graduate of the renown Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).  This is Marlow’s fifth turn in the GrammyU program. He is a voting member (since 2006) of The Recording Academy.
October 21 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Latin-jazz arrangement of “Hatikva” (The Hope), the Israeli national anthem, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble, is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
October 15 RADIO PLAY: Francisco Manuel invites composer/producer Eugene Marlow to spin “Blue in Green Remix” (MEII Enterprises 2023) on Radio Despi out of Barcelona, Spain.
October 2 Dr. Eugene Marlow participates in the American Insight “Speak EZ” program which showcases award-winning directors, artists. authors, and scholars. Marlow’s feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” won first place in American Insight’s 2022 “Free Speech Film Festival.” He is interviewed by Karen Curry, former NBC and CNN journalist. 
August 29 The Annual Marlow Prize in “Arts Consulting” is presented at a ceremony organized and hosted by the MA Program in Arts Management (David Milch, Director) at Baruch College (City University of New York) (starts at 6.p.m.). Dr. Marlow is in the process of establishing a $25,000 fund so that the annual prize can be awarded in perpetuity. 
August 28 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 71st semester (36th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
 July 3 MARLOW PRIZE AWARDEES: Matthew Sullivan is the recipient of the Marlow Prize in Arts Leadership for the 2022-23 academic year. His consultancy, Children’s Orchestra Society: Succession Planning for Community Arts Organizations was an exceptional paper utilizing a very high level of research and an analytical approach. His review of succession planning – specifically in a transition within a founder-led organization will serve the Children’s Orchestra Society very well, but also provides an excellent resource for any similar institution. The Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention for the Marlow Prize this year to Jessie Kardos for her consultancy, Re-envisioning a Multinational Dance Nonprofit Through a Program Budget Model: Springboard Danse Montréal & Friends of Springboard Danse. Jessie’s consultancy stood out in its ability to provide excellent research and analysis, managed across two organizations, working internationally and with budgets in multiple currencies. Sullivan and Kardos are students in the MA Program in Arts Management at Baruch College, City University of New York. The annual Marlow Prize is funded by Dr. Eugene Marlow, Senior Professor in Baruch College’s Department of Journalism.
June 30 ZIKKARON/KRISTALLNACHT SHOWING: Eugene Marlow’s award-winning documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” is shown at the New Plaza Cinema (New York City) on June 30. This short (previously an official selection at 18 domestic and international film festivals) is among several shorts shown on June 30. The short film festival is organized by filmmaker Michael Jacobsohn. New Plaza Cinema is located at 35 West 67th Street in Manhattan, New York. General seating: $15; Seniors: $12.
May 27 PERFORMANCE: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s piece “Aspetta Ancora Qualche Minuto” (“Wait a minute!”) is performed by the Namaste Trio (Natalia Benedetti, clarinet, Guido Arbonelli, clarinet, and Vincenzo De Filpo, pianoforte) in Montecchio Emilia, Italy.  The concert is organized by composer Andrea Talmelli, Presidente of SIMC, the Contemporary Music Italian Association. 
April 30 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): The folks at the UNESCO sponsored International Jazz Day invited Dr. Eugene Marlow to present his multi-award-winning feature documentary “Jazz in China” as an “official event” on April 30, 2023. The documentary is shown free of charge globally via UNESCO’s International Jazz Day web site for 24 hours on April 30, 2023.
April 21 MEII ENTERPRISES ARTIST PERFORMS: MEII ENTERPRISES artist classical oboist Virginia Chang Chien performs with a trio at Klavierhaus, 790 11th Avenue, New York City. Concert entitled “Revival Romanticism” starts at 7 p.m. Ms. Chien performs with violist April Jiwon Kim and pianist Daniel Colalillo. Tickets $26.
April 6 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length documentary is shown at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, starting at 6 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose room on the basement level. Dr. Marlow participates in a Q&A session following the showing. The library is located at 286 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn NY 11201.
April 1 ARTICLE: Dr. Marlow is featured in the Baruch College Fund Annual Report 2021-2022 because of his commitment to his Marlow Prize in Arts Leadership, awarded annually to a student in the Graduate Program in Arts Administration.
March 31-April 2 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ON CUNY-TV: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is shown on CUNY-TV. CUNY-TV reaches 7.3 million homes. “Jazz in China” looks at the influence of African American jazz musicians on Chinese artists, and the music’s appeal to Chinese youth. Embark on a captivating journey as this documentary takes you through exclusive interviews and incredible performances that capture the magic of jazz culture in China throughout history, and today. Produced by Baruch College journalism professor Eugene Marlow. Friday, 3/31, Saturday, 4/1, and Sunday, 4/2, at 3:55 PM. CUNY TV | Antenna 25.3 | Spectrum/Optimum 75 | RCN 77 | Verizon FiOS 30
March 7 MEII ENTERPRISES ALBUM PRODUCTION: MEII Producer Eugene Marlow goes into the studio (Samurai Hotel) in Astoria, Queens (New York City) to oversee the recording of virtuoso violinist Ben Sutin’s forthcoming album, featuring acclaimed drummer Johnathan Blake. The album is due for release in late summer 2023.  
March 1 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ARTICLE: DOWNBEAT, the leading jazz publication, publishes “Jazz in China: A Cultural Conversation,” authored by John McDonough. The full-page feature article includes comments by producer-director Dr. Eugene Marlow.
February 27 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY): Dr. Eugene Marlow talks about his award-winning, feature-length documentary as part of the Northwest China Council’s “Movie Chat” program. Starts at 7 p.m. PST. Register here.
February 25 MARLOW BIG BAND CHARTS: Composer/Arranger Eugene Marlow adds three more Latin big band charts to 3-2 Music’s catalogue: “Resolution,” “Sin Mi,” and “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.” Marlow’s first big band chart with the Fresno, California company that markets to colleges and universities music departments was “El Ache de Sanabria (en moderacion),” Marlow’s musical homage to multi-Grammy nominee drummer/percussionist and big band leader Bobby Sanabria. This chart appears on Sanabria’s Grammy-nominated “Big Band Urban Folktales” (Jazzheads 2007) 
February 24-26 JAZZ IN CHINA (DOCUMENTARY) ON CUNY-TV: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” shown on CUNY-TV’s 7.3 million homes. “Jazz in China” looks at the influence of African American jazz musicians on Chinese artists, and the music’s appeal to Chinese youth. Embark on a captivating journey as this documentary takes you through exclusive interviews and incredible performances that capture the magic of jazz culture in China throughout history, and today.  Produced by Baruch College professor Gene Marlow. Friday, 2/24, Saturday, 2/25, and Sunday, 2/26, at 3:35 PM. CUNY TV | Antenna 25.3 | Spectrum/Optimum 75 | RCN 77 | Verizon FiOS 30
February 15 GRAMMYU MENTEE: Recording Academy voting member Dr. Eugene Marlow is chosen to serve as a mentor to mentee Nora Ann Jn Louis (a.k.a. Koryna), a first year BA in Music Production student at Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey. This is Dr. Marlow’s fourth turn as a mentor in the Recording Academy’s mentorship program.
February 15 JAZZ IN CHINA (BOOK) TALK: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives a talk (via Zoom) organized by the Northwest China Council (Portland, OR) starting at 7 p.m. (PST). The talk is free and open to the public.  Register here to participate in the one-hour presentation.
February 11 PERFORMANCE: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s “Aspetta Ancora Qualche Minuto” (“Wait a minute!”) is performed by the Namaste Trio (Natalia Benedetti, clarinet, Guido Arbonelli, clarinet, and Vincenzo De Filpo, pianoforte) at the Camera del lavoro, Association Secondomaggio, in Milano, Italy.
January 25 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 70th semester (35th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
January 21 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s original Latin composition “Sin Mi” (Without Me) with lyrics by Rachel Kara Perez, performed by Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble with multi-lingual vocalist Jenn Jade Ledesna,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
January 2 Dr. Eugene Marlow submits a positive review of The Supreme Nonfiction: An Anthology of Literary Nonfiction in the Digital Age book proposal to publisher Bloomsbury.
2022
December 24 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s Afro-Caribbean arrangement of “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,” performed by his Heritage Ensemble,  is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
December 15 REVIEW OF THE “JAZZ IN CHINA” BOOK: “BEST JAZZ BOOKS OF 2018.”
December 15 REVIEW OF THE “JAZZ IN CHINA” DOCUMENTARY: A review of the documentary in “The Feedback Society” by Robert Barry Francos from May 2021.
November 21 ARTICLE  PUBLISHED: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s article “Jazz in China: The Book, The Documentary, the Journey,” appears in the November 2022 issue of School Band and Orchestra, pp. 16-19.
November 21 SINGLE TRACK RELEASE: Anruo Cheng’s electroacoustic composition “She Says,” an anti-violence against women protest piece, is released on Eugene Marlow’s indie MEII Enterprises label.
November 19 “JAZZ IN CHINA” DOCUMENTARY AWARD CEREMONY: American INSIGHT’s annual Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony takes place at Cliveden in Philadelphia on Saturday, November 19th, 2022. The Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony Moderator is American INSIGHT Board member, Karen Curry, former NBC and CNN Bureau Chief. She will be joined onstage by Bob Craig, longtime WRTI Jazz host, and Dr. Eugene Marlow, the director of the 2022 Free Speech Award winner.
November 10 “JAZZ IN CHINA” REVIEW: Renowned jazz journalist Nate Chinen pens review of Eugene Marlow’s award-winning, feature-length “Jazz in China” documentary.
November 10 “ZIKKARON KRISTALLNACHT” DOCUMENTARY PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s award-winning 2015 documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” has been selected by 17 domestic and international film festivals. It also earned the 2016 John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis from the Media Ecology Association. The documentary short will be presented as part of The Sandra Kahn Wasserman Jewish Studies Center in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College on November 10. A talk by Dr. Marlow will follow the showing. The presentation takes place in 14-270 starting at 6 p.m. at Baruch College (New York City).
November 7 SINGLE TRACK RELEASE: Eugene Marlow’s piece for string orchestra “Undminished” as performed by the North/South Chamber Orchestra is released by MEII Enterprises on cdbaby to 150+ digital platforms. 
November 3 BLUE IN GREEN: Three tracks from Eugene Marlow’s “Blue in Green: Original Compositions Inspired by the Jazz Poems of Grace Schulman” will be played at a “event” honoring Dr. Grace Schulman’s retirement from Baruch College. The event takes place in Engelman Recital Hall, Baruch College (New York City) at 6 p.m.
October 12 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY AWARD: Eugene Marlow’s 2022 feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is the winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Festival.” An award ceremony will take place in Philadelphia on November 19.
September 26 Recording Academy voting member Dr. Eugene Marlow is chosen to serve as a mentor to mentee Ms. Amelia Rolland, a French-born, multi-talented musician-composer (currently studying at the Berklee School of Music in Boston). This is Dr. Marlow’s third turn as a mentor in the Recording Academy’s mentorship program.
September 25 Marlowsphere Blog: Dr. Marlow publishes Blog #156–Anruo Cheng’s electroacoustic composition “She Says,” an anti-violence against women protest piece. 
August 31 JAZZ IN CHINA AWARD INTERVIEW: Dr. Eugene Marlow, Producer/Director of the award-winning documentary “Jazz in China,” is interviewed by Karen Curry, a member of the board of American Insight (via Zoom), regarding his documentary. The feature-length documentary (which has also received an “Award of Excellence” from the Depth of Field International Film Festival) is the winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Film Festival.”
August 30 The Annual Marlow Prize in “Arts Consulting” is presented at a ceremony organized and hosted by the MA Program in Arts Management (David Milch, Director) at Baruch College (starts at 6.p.m.). Stephanie O’Brien received the award for 2021-22, and both Jose Alvarado and Rob Maitner received Honorable Mentions. Dr. Marlow is in the process of establishing a $25,000 fund so that the annual prize can be awarded in perpetuity. 
August 29 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 69th semester (35th year) teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
August 13 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY AWARD: Eugene Marlow’s feature-length documentary “Jazz in China” is the recipient of an “Award of Excellence” from the “2022 Depth of Field International Film Festival.” The festival received close to 400 entries from 23 countries. 
August 9 JAZZ IN CHINA ZOOM PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow is interviewed on Zoom by the University of Chicago/Hong Kong about his feature-length documentary “Jazz in China.” Dr. Marlow shows a 15-minute portion of the documentary followed by a Q&A session. The full-length, 60-minute documentary is an official selection at 11 domestic and international film festivals.
August 3 JAZZ IN CHINA IN-PERSON PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives a talk on “Jazz in China: The Documentary” at the Basalt (Colorado) Public Library. He shows the feature-length documentary in its entirety followed by a Q&A session. Presentation starts at 5:30.
August 1 JAZZ IN CHINA IN-PERSON PRESENTATION: Dr. Eugene Marlow gives talk on “Jazz in China: The Book/The Documentary” at the Aspen Composers Conference, Aspen, Colorado. Dr. Marlow shows a 15-mi nute portion of the documentary followed by a comparison of writing the book vs. producing the documentary.
July 8 PERFORMANCE: Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble provides music for Baruch College’s Executive MBA Reception at the St. Regis (New York City).
July 2 RADIO PLAY: Eugene Marlow’s “El Ache de Sanabria” performed by the Grammy-nominated “Multiverse Big Band” is spun on WBGO’s “Latin Jazz Cruise,” hosted by Bobby Sanabria. WBGO is the most listened to jazz radio station on the planet.
June JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: International Piano (UK) publishes a review of Eugene Marlow’s documentary, p. 62.
May 22 MANUSCRIPT REVIEW: Dr. Eugene Marlow submits review of “Locating Burial Mound: Naamyam, Free Jazz, and Chinese American Voices” draft manuscript for Music Theory Spectrum, University of Ottawa.
April 30 JAZZ IN CHINA DOCUMENTARY: Eugene Marlow’s revised feature-length documentary about “Jazz in China” (based on his 2018 book) is an “official event” of International Jazz Day. The documentary is available for viewing free of charge globally for the 24 hours of International Jazz Day.
April 15 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes “Part II: It’s Suffocating: When Young Women From South East Asia Hit A Cultural Wall.” 
April 8 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes Part I: “It’s Suffocating When Young Women From South East Asia Hit A Cultural Wall” 
April 2-8 NPR RADIO PLAY: Judy Carmichael re-broadcasts her March 2019 interview with Dr. Eugene Marlow about his book Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression (University Press of Mississippi 2018). Marlow will release a feature-length documentary version of the book on the MEII Enterprises label on April 30, 2022, International Jazz Day.
February 28 ZIKKARON/KRISTALLNACHT OFFICIAL FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS: MEII Enterprises announces that Dr. Eugene Marlow’s 2015 documentary short “Zikkaron/Kristallnacht: A Family Story” has been selected for showing at 18 domestic and international film festivals, as follows: 2022 Stockholm Short Festival, 2022 FlickFair Film Festival, 2022 Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills, 2021 Tokyo Shorts Film Festival, 2021 San Francisco Indie Short Festival, 2021 Rotterdam Independent Film Festival, 2021 Phoenix Shorts Film Festival, 2021 Paris International Film Festival, 2021 Niagara Falls International Short Festival, 2021 London Indie Short Festival, 2021 Florida Short Film Festival, 2021 Berlin Shorts Award, and 2017 New York Short Film Tuesdays.
February 7 GRAMMYU: Grammy U, the educational outreach arm of the Recording Academy, has paired Dr. Eugene Marlow (voting member since 2006) with Jonah Abrams, an upper level student at Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey) for the Spring 2022 semester.
January 31 Dr. Eugene Marlow begins his 68th semester teaching courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York).
January 28 Dr. Eugene Marlow interviews Baayork Lee, Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the National Asian Artists Project, as part of the MA in Arts Administration Spring 2022 Semester Welcome @ Baruch College (starts @ 5 p.m.) Dr. Marlow and Ms. Lee both graduated from The High School of the Performing Arts: Marlow as a drama major, Ms. Lee as a dance major. Of note, Lee created the role of Connie in the 1976 Tony-award winning Best Musical A Chorus Line.
January 11 THE MARLOWSPHERE BLOG: Eugene Marlow publishes his newest blog: “Update: The Max Borak Story.”
January 10 ALBUM RELEASE: MEII Enterprises releases “C.I.T.I.Z.E.N.” the inaugural album from Ghananian rapper Pope Nst. The five-track album has been distributed worldwide to all digital platforms. 

Please check back often as updates with new dates and more details
will be added to the schedule.

Click here to learn more about Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble

EMHE

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Syurpriz! 100 Years of Russian Jazz: The Documentary

"Jazz 100 Russia" documentary posterThe Marlowsphere (Blog #157)

When it comes to documentaries where the subject is jazz, the American catalogue is full of viewing choices, so much so you come away with the impression that jazz is only performed in the United States and if it is performed elsewhere on the planet, well, how good could it be? If it was created and performed on a par with American jazz composers, arrangers, and musicians, well, then, certainly documentaries would be a lot more present.

Syurpriz! That’s Russian for “Surprise!” According to a recently released feature-length  documentary (114 minutes) produced in Russia, jazz has been performed in Russia (more surprise) for 100 years!

The documentary—“Jazz 100 Russia”—was the brainchild of renowned Russian tenor saxophonist Igor Butman (he’s also one of the characters in the documentary as well as one of the producers, along with Yulia Hmelevskaya).

Cyril Moshkow Russian Jazz JournalistIt was written by Russia’s leading jazz journalism Cyril Moshkow. The director is Alexander Bryntsev. The documentary’s major sponsor is the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The documentary calls itself “groundbreaking” and it is that. It’s the first documentary to encapsulate the 100 years of jazz in Russia, starting with the introduction of jazz by (syupriz) an innovative dancer, Valentin Parnakh, who brought the jazz sound and aesthetic to Russia from his visits to Paris in the early 1920s.

Second, the six-part feature is a cornucopia of archival footage that no doubt took years of specific and serendipitous research.

Third, along with the archival footage, the soundtrack is wall-to-wall jazz of various stripes paralleling the evolution of jazz in the United 1935 Alksandr Tsfasman Band in Early Soviet TalkieStates, from “trad jazz” to “free jazz” to today’s contemporary styles. This, too, must have required painstaking research.

Fourth, the documentary does not shy away from dealing with the political lefts and rights in Russia since the 1917 Russian Revolution, although the references are subtle and non-critical.

The 100-year span of Russian jazz history brought together in 114 minutes is in itself a work of art: gorgeously shot and edited so well the viewer does not notice the content juxtapositions. It tells a story of not just the jazz players, but also the social and cultural backdrop in which this democratic form of music through improvisation ─ and therefore individual freedom of expression ─ as survived and grown in a country with a long history of adherence to central authority.

1959 Moscow Jazz Club Backstage Rehearsal, photo (c)Vladimir SadkovkinSpeaking of improvisation, one of the best definitions of jazz is articulated by Evgeny Pobozhiy, the young winner of the 2019 Herbie Hancock Jazz Guitar Competition. He says:

[Jazz] is the most perfect musical form that humans have created. Jazz culture
has absorbed the best achievements of humanity: Western traditions and oriental
ethnic traditions, and African, of course. It is based on improvisation, that is, on
spontaneous music-making, and improvisation is impossible without deep knowledge
and understanding. A jazz musician has always been something like a symbiosis of a
creator and a scientist, both involved in a certain spiritual practice.

Well stated. Just like the documentary.

The documentary will become available outside Russia after it has been shown on Russian television. Click here to see the trailer.

Eugene Marlow, Ph.D.
Producer/Director/Writer
“Jazz in China” Winner of the 2022 Free Speech Film Festival

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2023

 

 

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See the Award-Winning Documentary “Jazz In China” at the Brooklyn Heights Library April 6th

“Jazz In China: The Documentary,” chronicles the 100-year story of how jazz—a democratic form of music through improvisation—exists and thrives in China—a country with a long tradition of adherence to central authority.

“Jazz In China” is a documentary produced, directed, and written by Eugene Marlow, Ph.D. based on his 2018 book Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression (University Press of Mississippi).

The 60-minute award-winning documentary reveals the significant influence of African-American jazz musicians with leading indigenous jazz musicians, sinologists, historians, and jazz club patrons in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and archival and contemporary performance footage.

“Jazz In China” was the winner of the 2022 American Insight “Free Speech Film Festival,” and received the “Award of Excellence” from the Depth of Field International Film Festival.

“Jazz In China” will  be an “official event” of the UNESCO-sponsored International Jazz Day, on April 30, 2023.


Many thanks to those who made this event possible:
Curator Leslie Arlette Boyce
Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library
NYFA  “Jazz In China” is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts

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“Jazz in China” Winner of American INSIGHT’s 2022 Free Speech Film Festival

From L to R: American Insight Board Member Karen Curry, Eugene Marlow, Ph..D. (Producer/Director of "Jazz in China"), Jiefei Yuan, documentary Associate Director, and Bob Craig, Jazz DJ, WRTI, Philadelphia Eugene Marlow’s feature length documentary “Jazz in China” is the winner of the 2022 American Insight sponsored “Free Speech Film Festival.”

American INSIGHT’s Free Speech Film Festival celebrates the passionate innovations of independent filmmakers, and champions the ideas, perspectives and voices that prove vital to the future of Free Speech, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law around the world.

American INSIGHT’s Free Speech Film Festival is a goodwill, grassroots, sustainable program that unites judges, students, scholars, educators and the general public in conversations about the past, present and future of Free Speech.

The mission of the Free Speech Film Festival is to promote Free Speech, not war.

According to Margaret Chew Barringer, American Insight Founder & Chairman, “When we first saw the submission from Director Eugene Marlow we didn’t know this very democratic form of music could exist (and THRIVE) in such a place. This astonishment was just one of the many reasons ‘Jazz in China’ is the 2022 Free Speech Award-winning Film.”

She added: “Over several weeks of judging approximately 100 entries from 17 countries, ‘Jazz in China’ never fell out of first place.”

“Most people don’t know that jazz even exists in China,” noted Bob Craig, popular host for WRTI, Philadelphia’s jazz and classical music radio station. “The film chronicles the 100-year story of how this very democratic form of music improvisation exists and thrives in a country with a long tradition of adherence to central authority.”

Click the image to see the “Jazz in China” trailer.

Jazz in China - Play Video

The Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony was moderated by American INSIGHT Board member, Karen Curry, former NBC and Dr. Eugene Marlow receives the American Insight "Free Speech Bell" from Karen Curry, American Insight Board Member. The first prize also came with a $1,000 honorarium.CNN Bureau Chief. She was joined onstage by Bob Craig, longtime WRTI Jazz host,  Dr. Eugene Marlow, the director of the 2022 Free Speech Award winner and Jiefei Yuan, documentary Associate Director.

American INSIGHT’s annual Free Speech Film Festival Award Ceremony was held Saturday, November 19th, 2022 in Philadelphia, where Dr. Marlow was awarded the symbolic Free Speech Liberty Bell and $1,000 honorarium by Ms. Curry.
 
Topics submitted to the American INSIGHT Free Speech Film Festival in 2022 included censorship, resistance, inequality, courage, change, and hope. Independent filmmakers from 58 countries around the world have entered their films as a response to the subject of Free Speech: You Define It!

The six 2022 Official Selection films are:

  •  Jazz in China directed by Dr. Eugene Marlow
  • My Grandmother Is an Egg directed by Wu-Ching Chang
  • Common Grounds? directed by Raed Truett Gilliam
  • Chinese Cancan – Lulu, a Chinese Woman directed by Coralie Van Rietschote
  • Strength Among Us directed by Taha Ovaci
  • Urania Leilus directed by Andrew Serban

Eugene Marlow, Ph.D., teaches courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York, since 1988). “Jazz in China is his latest documentary project based on his 2018 acclaimed book. Previously, his documentary short “Zikkaron Kristallnacht: A Family Story” was an “official selection” at 17 domestic and international film festivals and was the recipient of the John Culkin Award from the Media Ecology Association. Dr. Marlow has earned awards for video programming excellence from numerous film festival competitions.

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Anruo Cheng’s “She Says | 她说”: An Anti-Violence Against Women Contemporary Protest Song

Marlowsphere (Blog #156)

"The 1930s Lynching that Inspired Strange Fruit"Music serves many functions in society and can be found in almost every corner of everyday life. One such function is “protest.” Protest songs give musical voice to issues dealing with racism, war, civil rights, and women’s rights, among others.

Among the most famous protest songs in western culture is “Strange Fruit” recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939. It is based on a poem inspired by the lynching of two young African-Americans in 1930 Marion, Indiana. They were accused of rape and murder. The poem was written by Abel Meeropol (1903-1986), a white Jew, teacher, poet and songwriter, who published under the name Lewis Allan.

It is not usual, however, to hear of protest songs and singers in eastern cultures, such as China, but they exist. The most prominent is Cui Jian, a Beijing-based singer-songwriter (also trumpeter and guitarist) who is recognized as the “father of rock” in China. He has been jailed by the Chinese government from time to time for composing and performing songs critical of the Communist Party.

Critical protest of the Chinese Communist Party goes beyond issues of governance. Among the issues are violence against women, a global problem in fact. Estimates published by the World Health Organization indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Most of this violence is intimate partner violence.

Chinese-born, New York City-based contemporary composer Anruo Cheng’s response to this issue in China is her 8:27 minute protest composition “She Says | 她说.”

“She Says” was inspired by several reports and significant incidents in China:

  1. Every 7.4 seconds, a woman in China faces domestic violence, according to the All-China Women’s Federation, the country’s largest women’s organization. For example, after enduring years of attacks, Shaanxi native Yang Xi killed her husband. She was originally sentenced to death, but a higher court commuted the sentence to 12 years in jail for killing him.
  2. A Xuzhou woman was chained to a wall, tortured, and gave birth to eight children for her “husband.” The incident was revealed through video interviews by social media in the winter of 2021 but immediately covered up by mainstream media in China. Some people were arrested while investigating the case. Unfortunately, the chained woman’s voice is not allowed to be heard anymore.
  3. In June 2022, four women were assaulted and brutally punched by a group of men in a late-night Tangshan (China) restaurant. After the surveillance footage of the incident was leaked online, the victims, as well as their families and friends remained silent.

Cheng adds: “In this work, you will hear heavy percussive sounds every 7.4 seconds throughout the piece, representing the domestic violence Domestic Violence in Chinahappening to Chinese women. I also use the Chinese ancient folk tune Jasmine Flower (originally praising women’s purity and nobility) as a metaphor for the victims and twisted facts people are facing. Many other sound objects manipulated by electronic techniques are also inspired by these incidents, like the sounds of chains, metallic percussive sounds, and sounds of broken glass bottles.”

There are two kinds of broad musical categories: absolute music and program music. The former is music that stands alone without any requisite explanation. This category of music can be enjoyed and appreciated on its own merit. The latter category is the reverse. One of the more famous examples of “program music” is Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” where various instruments take on the characteristics, musically speaking, of the “characters” in the story. The music, though, is accompanied by a spoken narrative.

The repetition of “She Says” in a female voice hints at the subject of Cheng’s piece, and the repeat of hard sounds every 7.4 seconds also gives an indication of what the piece means and what its purpose is. But you need the external explanation to reveal the real power of the composition. Could this piece standalone without any further explication? Certainly. Its sonic elements are compelling on their own. But when you understand the inspiration of “She Says” the power of Cheng’s composition expands exponentially.

Click here to listen to “She Says| 她说” on Sound Cloud.

For more about Anruo Cheng, go to www.anruocheng.com

Eugene Marlow, MBA, Ph.D., © 2022

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