Join us for a screening of Ken Burns’ Jazz, Episode 6: Swing, The Velocity of Celebration, followed by a discussion of the film led by Sims Delaney-Potthoff of Harmonious Wail. The screening is co-sponsored by the Monroe Arts Center.
6:30 PM on Tuesday, March 11th
2nd Floor Program Room
Swing, The Velocity of Celebration This episode from the acclaimed award-winning series picks up the story of jazz in the late 1930s. As the Depression deepened, swing jazz thrived. The saxophone emerged as an iconic instrument; Kansas City became the center of a vibrant new music scene epitomized by Count Basie. Basie refined his sound in New York City, where Benny Goodman held the first jazz concert in Carnegie Hall. The episode also tells the stories of Billie Holiday, Mary Lou Williams, and Ella Fitzgerald, women musicians who emerged on the jazz scene.
Sims Delaney-Potthoff, Harmonious Wail’s founder, leader and mandolinist, credits Jethro Burns with the band’s unique, enticing style of mandolin-driven gypsy-jazz. Sims studied for seven years with Burns, the legendary jazz mandolinist, laying the foundation for Harmonious Wail’s acoustic string sound. Sims also plays a 1937 Gibson Tenor Guitar (tuned as an octave mandolin), sings, writes and arranges for the Wail. He founded the group in 1987.