Spike Lee Film Music Takes Center Stage
Spike Lee's artistic vision isn't just what he sees, but what he hears: And in a new multimedia show called "The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard," which makes its first U.S. stop in PhiSpike Lee's artistic vision isn't just what he sees, but what he hears: And in a new multimedia show called "The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard," which makes its first U.S. stop in Philadelphia, it's the music of Lee's films that takes center stage.
"From the time he starts writing the screenplay he starts thinking about the music; it's part of the process, it's not an add on," said Danny Kapilian, the show's producer. "I find him completely unique in that regard ... in the way he thinks of music as integral part of his films."
The sound and vision of many of Lee's 16 films, many of which were part of a collaboration with renowned jazz trumpeter-composer-bandleader Blanchard, will be recreated by singers and musicians as still images from the films are projected.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, which stages the event tomorrow (June 7), is the first U.S. venue, with performances to follow in June and July at Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Center in Chicago, and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The concert series debuted in London on April 21.
The films highlighted are "25th Hour," "Bamboozled," "Clockers," "Do The Right Thing," "Four Little Girls," "Jim Brown -- All American," "Jungle Fever," "Malcolm X," "Mo' Better Blues," and "Summer of Sam."
Lee will play host at all of the performances, which will feature Blanchard performing along with a jazz ensemble, a chamber orchestra, and vocalists that will change from venue to venue. Mann Center guests include Philadelphia-based R&B duo Floetry, Angelique Kidjo, and Angie Stone. Musiq, Cassandra Wilson, Bruce Hornsby, and Dianne Reeves are among those slated to perform in other cities on the tour.
Lee paired the music of 20th century composer Aaron Copland with rap group Public Enemy for 1998's "He Got Game," used the relentless beats of disco denizens Grace Jones and Chic for "Summer of Sam" the following year, and employed the jazzy strains of Gang Starr and John Coltrane to color "Mo' Better Blues" (1990).
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