Jazz on a Summer’s Day

Director: Bert Stern and Aram Avakian
Country: USA
Year: 1959
Running Time: 85 min.
Language: English

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The first major film statement on jazz and the granddaddy of festival films. Noted photographer Bert Stern filmed a virtual Who’s Who of jazz and blues at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival: including Thelonius Monk, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington and Mahalia Jackson.

About the Director

Bert Stern

bert sternBiography: Bert Stern was born October 2, 1929. He was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director at Mayfair magazine, where Stern learned how to develop film and make contact sheets, and started taking his own pictures. In 1951, Stern was drafted into the US Army and was sent to Japan and assigned to the photographic department. By the late 1970s Stern returned to the U.S. to photograph portraits and fashion. With Aram Avakian, he co-directed Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959), a documentary film record of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. In 1999, the film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. He passed away at the age of 83.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Jazz on a Summer’s Day (2008).

Filmography:
Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959).

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