I've seen quite a few interesting music documentaries at the Monterey Jazz Festival over the years.
One of the best was "The Girls in the Band," a truly insightful film that was shown at the 2012 fest. The documentary is finally getting a theatrical release in the Bay Area, opening Friday for a weeklong run at Landmark's Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco and the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.
"The Girls in the Band" focuses on the all-too-infrequently told history of female instrumentalists working in jazz and big-band groups. The film spans more than 80 years, beginning with the pioneers who had to battle severe sexism to find work in the late '30s and continuing through the decades to present day.
Along the way, viewers learn the gripping tales of such unsung heroes as saxophonist Roz Cron, trombonist Melba Liston and trumpeter Clora Bryant. The film also feature some of the best-known female players in jazz history, including piano legend Marian McPartland, as well as some of today's top musicians, such as bassist Esperanza Spalding.
"The Girls in the Band" is a story of perseverance and passion — and is recommended viewing for basically every music fan. I've already seen it, but I'm looking forward to watching it again.
For more information on the film, visit www.thegirlsintheband.com.
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