Two sublime art forms will collide again this year during the eighth Denver Jazz on Film Festival at the Starz FilmCenter on Friday, February 13. Featured films chronicle the life of famed songwriter Cole Porter; jazz icon Jimmy Scott, who has been massaging tender ballads for more than half a century; and the great vocalist Anita O'Day, who conquered heroin addiction and continues to perform well into her eighties. (See Night and Day.)
The three-day festival, heralded nationwide and sponsored this year by Denver's all-jazz radio station KUVO, will screen in two theaters at Starz; also included are films about big-band drummer Buddy Rich, clarinetist and swing bandleader Benny Goodman, the late singer and civil-rights activist Nina Simone and a host of notable bluesmen such as Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Witherspoon and B.B. King. Selected episodes of documentarian Ken Burns's controversial PBS series, Jazz, will be shown and debated, and admirers of the late pianist Errol Garner -- a master stylist who never learned to read music -- will be treated to a rare, 72-minute film called Errol Garner: In Performance.
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There will also be panel discussions, and the festival's artistic director, Tom Goldsmith, promises an emphasis on Latin jazz (La Cocina de Bebo and Chano Dominguez: Mira Como Viene will both be screened) and jazz drumming. The festival runs February 13-15 at Starz, in the Tivoli Center. For more information, log on to www.jazzfilmfestival.org.