Image by Reed Hutchinson.

Kenny Burrell: Jazz Master and Mentor

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Open Call host Suzanna Guzmán invites audiences to celebrate a musical great, Mr. Kenny Burrell. Along with guest, Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, they explore the jazz legacy fostered by Kenny Burrell as a musician and educator.

"Kenny Burrell: Jazz Master and Mentor" is a 90-minute concert documentary that weaves interviews and archival footage with performances and behind-the-scenes action at the legendary guitarist's 80th birthday celebration in UCLA's Royce Hall. The show features performances by Kenny Burrell and musical luminaries BB King, Stevie Wonder, Lalo Schifrin and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The show also features the grand premiere performance of the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited (LAJOU) and a standout set from the Jazz Heritage All Stars.

Interviews with Professor Burrell and his peers in Los Angeles and Detroit tell the story of his commitment to the future of jazz, as a performer, teacher and founder of the Jazz Studies program at UCLA. An apostle of the late Duke Ellington, Burrell has embraced many of the ideas of the great American composer. Among those is the quest to elevate jazz to the same level as classical music in the minds of the American public. Through his work with students and the LAJOU, we see Professor Burrell's dedication to creating a flourishing Jazz culture where future musicians can be nurtured.

Image by Reed Hutchinson.


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Carol and Warner Henry