Dir. Victorious DeCosta, 2018, USA, 95 mins
This film is a befitting and timely examination of the life and legacy of Weldon Irvine. An artist of moderate success yet monumental influence, he was a pioneer of jazz-funk fusion and Nina Simone's band leader. A major contributor to the 1970s Black Arts Movement, Irvine who wrote over 500 songs and over 50 theatre plays, was also integral to the evolution of hip hop, from its inception through its golden era of consciousness and heavy jazz-laden sampling, as we'll hear from Mos Def and Q-Tip.
His bountiful and socio-culturally evocative work in music and theatre was central to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s; and his dedicated mentorship sparked a movement in his long-time residence of Jamaica/St. Albans, Queens, helping develop some of the most well-known figures in jazz today.
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