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Icons Among Us: Jazz In The Present Tense DVD & VOD Release Set

03/31/2010
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After successful theatrical-length festival screenings at the AFI Fest, Seattle International Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival among others, Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense is slated for its DVD and Video On Demand release May 11 via IndiePix Films and FilmBuff.

Crafted from the four-part series continually airing on the Documentary Channel, the documentary feature film examines the world of modern day jazz through the eyes of today's brightest talent.

Featuring live footage and interviews, the film includes many current jazz icons including Terence Blanchard, Bill Frisell, Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, the Benevento-Russo Duo, Matthew Shipp, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Medeski Martin and Wood.

The film also features these performers' legendary predecessors and influences including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dianne Reeves and Wynton Marsalis. The Huffington Post calls the film "a celebration of the roots of the creative process," while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hails the film as "an exhilarating look at jazz right now."

Along with the upcoming DVD/VOD release of the feature length film, Icons Among Us is scheduled to screen globally in China, Europe, Africa and South America as part of the American Film Institute's Project: 20/20. It has previously screened as an event and on the film festival circuit in markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon.

Upcoming screenings are also scheduled for:
• The Berklee College of Music; Boston, MA; April 1
• The Smithsonian Institution with a jam session featuring the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra followed by Greg Osby & Jason Moran Duo; Washington, DC; April 7
• AFI Project: 20/20 at JAZZAlive at Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives; Washington, DC; April 8
• The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival's Sync Up Conference; New Orleans, LA; April 29

Additionally, the full four-part television series which originally aired on the Documentary Channel—hailed by All About Jazz as "without a doubt the best series on jazz that's ever been produced"—will be screened in its entirety at the 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival (September 18 & 19).
Producer John W. Comerford and co-directors Michael Rivoira, Lars Larson and Peter J. Vogt fashioned Icons Among Us from seven years of interviews with over 75 living jazz artists in high definition and over 25 hours of live performances recorded on super sixteen millimeter film in popular venues across the U.S. and Europe.

Icons Among Us begins by directly challenging perceptions of what jazz is and what it is becoming by examining its innovative new voices as well as their influential forebears. The film goes on to explore a vast array of topics including the contemporary take on straight ahead and free jazz, the migration of jazz to Europe and jazz's expansion beyond its own boundaries into other musical genres including hip-hop and rock.

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