Best Video Film & Cultural Center kicks off an April “Spring Into Music” film series with the acclaimed documentary “Summer of Soul” on Tues., Apr. 5. The event will begin at 7 PM with an introduction by New Haven-based singer-songwriter Paul Bryant Hudson, who will also lead a post-film discussion. Admission is $7.
This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required. (This will be updated if circumstances allow a loosening of these restrictions.)
Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.
The series is sponsored by Greenberg Rhein & Margolis Insurance of Woodbridge, CT.
“Summer of Soul” is part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten-until now.
“Summer of Soul”—directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, making his filmmaking debut—shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
Paul Bryant Hudson has been tearing up the stages of Cafe Nine, Pacific Standard Tavern, and other places all over town for a few years now. With a stunning voice and serious keyboard chops, he fronts a seriously tight band with a style of Soul Music that pays homage to the past and feels up to the minute.
Hudson’s affection for mashing up a gumbo of acoustic and electronic sounds is the fruit of “a marriage between the things I have to say and the things I like to listen to.” Among the things he likes to listen to are jazz, hip-hop, Bob Marley and soul balladeers like Donnie Hathaway.
Most of his compositions derive from a “super-specific cultural place. They’re stories of Blackness and struggle but also triumph,” said Hudson.