THEY DIED BEFORE 40 - New Jazz Film

by howard e. fischer

NY

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More than two dozen gifted jazz artists died before reaching the age of 40. Most of them are relatively unknown, some even to jazz fans. Many of them made significant contributions to this art form. All of them had much more to give and, individually and collectively, would have made an even greater impact on this music had they lived longer. It is important that their contributions be made known, their music heard and that we show how and why they died.

Many people may have heard of the legendary Charlie Parker, who died at 34. But others, such as Herschel Evans, who died before reaching 30, are very little known and his story is untold. For example, Jo Jones, the drummer and an integral part of the Count Basie band for many years, has called Evans the greatest musician he ever played with. He said that Evans made everyone he played with better.

 Who was this giant, what made him an important creative artist and why did he die so young. These are questions that this film answers concerning Evans and the others that are featured - Bunny Berigan, Chick Webb, Fats Waller, Charlie Christian, Jimmy Blanton, Clifford Brown and Chu Berry.

Through archival film footage, photographs, reminiscences and expert discourse we show more about these artists, develop an appreciation of their artistry and reveal how and why their careers were cut short.

This film will expand our cultural heritage for this internationally renowned art form.

I have completed my "rough cut" that is 93 minutes with over 600 photographs and graphic material plus 60 pieces of music. I need your help to acquire rights to this material and to edit to my "final cut" in order to apply to film festivals and sell DVDs. I would need approximately $1,000 for the editor to get to my "final cut," $200 for perks costs, $1,000 for photographs and graphic images and $10,000 of the $12,200 minimum requested here for the rights to sell DVDs. I would need at least the $31,200 requested for the licenses for the music and photos for the right to enter film festivals in the USA for one year. Miscellaneous items include insurance, additional licenses, etc.

Please contribute what you can and note the perks listed on this site. ALL contributions are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Also, kindly send the link to this site to anyone who may be able to help. THANK YOU.

As founder and Executive Director of the New York Jazz Museum from 1972 to 1977 I was able to meet, observe and interact with hundreds of jazz musicians in a professional and social context.

This gave me insight into their lives and what I learned has driven me to make this film.

There are important lessons to be learned and gaps to be filled in our understanding of probably our most creative art form and those who made it so.

These musicians never lived long enough to fully enjoy their gifts or gain the elusive acceptance their talents warranted.

Whatever the reasons, we were robbed of brilliant Americans’ great creative talents and the pleasures they could have produced for millions throughout the world.

Please see about 40 "Hot Points" on my website http://jazzdeaths.weebly.com.

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