America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music From Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway

The six-week America’s Music program is a film and discussion series that looks at popular music from blues to bluegrass, Broadway to rock ‘n’ roll. Each event features films followed by a discussion (and frequently performances) led by UMKC musicologist Andrew Granade.

Tuesdays, April 2 - May 7, 2013
Reception at 6 p.m., Program at 6:30 p.m.
Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the American Library Association.

Blues and Gospel
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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Blues expert Lindsay Shannon and Delta blues player Pat Nichols join UMKC musicologist Andrew Granade for a discussion of blues and gospel music. Features excerpts from the films Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues; Feel Like Going Home; and Say Amen, Somebody.

Swing Jazz
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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Excerpts from Ken Burns’ Jazz: Swing, the Velocity of Celebration and International Sweethearts of Rhythm will be shown, and jazz expert Chuck Haddix will host a discussion.

Broadway and Tin Pan Alley
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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The Broadway and Tin Pan Alley evening features the documentary Broadway: The American Musical: Syncopated City (1919-1933) and a discussion with Broadway historian William Everett.

Country and Bluegrass
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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This program features the documentary High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music and live musical performances by pickers Jack Burlison and Jim McGreevy, members of Kansas City's award-winning Bluegrass Brigade.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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Rock music is the focus of this evening, with a screening of the documentary The History of Rock n Roll: Episode 6, Plugging In and a live performance by rock legend Bob Walkenhorst, singer/songwriter/guitarist for The Rainmakers.

Latin Rhythms from Mambo to Hip Hop
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
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Featured are selections from the documentaries Latin Music USA: Bridges and From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale, and a discussion and perfromance with KC rapper Denzel "D/Will" Williams.


In conjunction with America's Music films and discussions is the film series Hollywood's Music at the Central Library, a collection of feature films inspired by and about popular music.

Mondays at 6:30 p.m.
April 1 - 8 Mile
April 8 - Mo’ Better Blues
April 15 - Cadillac Records
April 22 - Coal Miner’s Daughter
April 29 - The Mambo Kings
Saturdays at 1:30 p.m.
April 6 - Leadbelly
April 13 - A Great Day in Harlem
April 20 - American Graffiti
April 27 - Every Little Step