90th Birthday of Jazz Icon Kenny Burrell Celebrated in ‘SOUTHLAND SESSIONS’ Concert Documentary ‘Jazz Master and Mentor’ Airing August 4 on KCET
Los Angeles, Calif. – July 13, 2021 – KCET, showcasing the best of PBS and the leading source for arts, culture and news in Southern California, announced the airing of the concert documentary SOUTHLAND SESSIONS special “Kenny Burrell: Jazz Master and Mentor” timed to the trailblazing jazz artist’s 90th birthday. The 90-minute concert documentary weaves archival footage, performances and interviews with legendary jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell including a behind-the-scenes look from his 80th birthday celebration at UCLA's historic Royce Hall in 2011. SOUTHLAND SESSIONS: “Kenny Burrell: Jazz Master and Mentor” premieres on Wed., Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. on KCET.
The show features performances by Burrell and musical luminaries like blues legend B.B. King, multi-Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, pianist Lalo Schifrin, Grammy-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater and others. The 18-piece band features the first performance of Los Angeles’ repertoire orchestra, the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited (LAJOU), and a standout set from renowned four-horn and four-rhythm Jazz tribute ensemble, Jazz Heritage All Stars. Interviews with Burrell and his peers 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 embraced many of the ideas of the great American composer as an accomplished producer and guitarist dazzling audiences around the world for over six decades. Throughout his life and career, his work with UCLA students and the LAJOU has led to a flourishing Jazz culture in Southern California.
The special is part of a continuation of the SOUTHLAND SESSIONS series spotlighting prominent artistic voices and cultures around Southern California. SOUTHLAND SESSIONS debuted last summer to allow the Los Angeles community to experience their regional arts and cultural institutions, when attending in-person, cultural events was not an option. As regional artists adapted to an uncertain future due to the pandemic and the influence of social uprisings across the country, the new broadcast and digital initiative drew together prominent voices from around Southern California for up-close, virtual “sessions.” Through SOUTHLAND SESSIONS, viewers witnessed artists inspire audiences with a front-row seat to the creative process, guided by the community’s arts leaders.
“Southland Sessions was originally supported in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and other institutional funders who prefer to remain anonymous.”
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