Chops: Documentary Highlights Essentially Ellington Program

As many of you are already aware, I grew up listening to a lot of music. My earliest memories are of my father spinning his vast collection of jazz records. It was his appreciation of jazz that introduced me to the music of Duke Ellington and so many other jazz greats… My love of music carried over into my late teens and throughout high school. Most of my friends were musicians and I could always be found hanging out in the music room. Even though I’m not a musician, I still enjoyed the atmosphere in the room as the school band rehearsed for a concert. I found it cool to witness a group of musicians come together and capture a piece of music inspired through the minds of legends like Duke Ellington and others influenced by him…

Chops Just Released

This documentary directed by Bruce Broder made me think of those high school years and also some neat memories of my dad. For all jazz lovers, but especially the younger generation, the movie will be very inspiring indeed!

SYNOPSIS as seen on their official website.

CHOPS tells the story of a group of kids with extraordinary musical ability who learn to make the most of their gifts in an acclaimed public school jazz program in Jacksonville, FL.

From their early, squeaky scales to soaring, improvisational solos, we have a front row seat for their fascinating transformation. We’re with them as they stick together and as they fall apart. And we see up close how the events of their daily lives are expressed in their music. We follow their musical journey from Florida to New York City, where they compete against the top high school jazz bands in the nation at the prestigious Essentially Ellington Festival.

Win or lose, the Essentially Ellington experience puts them at the threshold of their dream, and reveals the incredible growth they’ve experienced personally and musically

Host Your Own Screening of Chops

The movie has been endorsed and screened by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The screening program opened on June 26th, 2009 and gives jazz related organizations a great fundraising opportunity. It’s a unique screening process by B-Side that allows the host to keep 100% of the proceeds. For more information you can go to their site directly from here. Or you can also go to their Facebook page by clicking here.

Are you familiar with the Essentially Ellington High School jazz competition? The passion and dedication of these young artists is hard to overlook. What do you think? Your comments are welcome below.


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