Welcome to our 33rd annual edition of Reel Music. We’ve been on the lookout all year for new works—and timely classics—to feature in our annual celebration of sound, music, and image. Whether your passion is jazz, blues, rock, soul, opera, classical, avant-garde—or anything in between—we hope you find something to discover and inspire you in this eclectic mix of the familiar and unknown. As always, our special thanks go to Music Millennium, Willamette Week, Walker, KINK.fm, MusicFestNW, All Classical Portland, PDX Jazz, XRAY.FM, KMHD, KBOO, PDX Pipeline, Oregon Music News, and Marmoset.

American Epic

Directed by Bernard MacMahon

Presented by Robert Redford, T Bone Burnett and Jack White, and produced for the BBC’s Arena and PBS, MacMahon and

Bill Evans, Time Remembered

Directed by Bruce Spiegel

In the pantheon of great jazz pianists, few remain as influential as Bill Evans. His arrival in the late 1950s

Concerto: A Beethoven Journey

Directed by Phil Grabsky

Over the course of four years, director Phil Grabsky followed celebrated Norwegian concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’ attempt to understand

Cool Cats

Directed by Janus Køster-Rasmussen

In the 1960s, many American jazz greats traveled--and often permanently relocated--to Europe. Seeking to escape from systemic American police violence,

Everybody’s Cage

Directed by Sandra Trostel

When John Cage (1912-1992), one of the most influential composers of New York’s 20th century avant-garde, was asked to summarize

Jaco

Directed by Paul Marchand, Stephen Kijak

In 1976, Jaco Pastorius’ (1951-1987) melodic “singing” bass style redefined the role of the bass in modern jazz and rock

Korla

Directed by John Turner

With his sparking jeweled turban, organist Korla Pandit (1921-1998) was an alluring enigma, television pioneer, and the godfather of exotica

Landfill Harmonic

Directed by Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley

A testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit, Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled

Lee Scratch Perry: Visions of Paradise

Directed by Volker Schander

A visionary record producer and pioneer in both reggae and dub music, Lee Scratch Perry’s life has been an ongoing

Magicarena

Directed by Niccolo Bruna, Andrea Prandstraller

“Built 2,000 years ago, the majestic Verona amphitheater—the biggest opera venue in the world—is, indeed, a ‘magic arena.’ Prandstraller and

Mavis!

Directed by Jessica Edwards

At age 75, soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staples Singers, are

NW Music Videos Open Screening

Directed by Various

As part of the Reel Music Fest, the NW Film Center is proud to present an open screening of NW

Orion: The Man Who Would be King

Directed by Jeanie Finlay

As a teenager in 1960s Alabama, Jimmy Ellis’ wonderful singing voice was unlike any other... except, that is, for one

Roxy: The Movie

Directed by Frank Zappa

Filmed over three nights in December 1973 at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood, Roxy: The Movie perfectly encapsulates the qualities

Sam Lay in Bluesland

Directed by John Anderson

The man some call “the greatest drummer of all time” is mostly recognized for his signature double-shuffle beat—but is almost

Seymour: An Introduction

Directed by Ethan Hawke

This intimate portrait of classical pianist, composer, author, teacher, and sage Seymour Bernstein offers a wise and charismatic reflection on

Sons of the Wind

Directed by Bruno Le Jean

Director Bruno Le Jean set out to make a musical documentary about “gypsy jazz,” but ended up with a unique

Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows

Directed by Rob Hatch-Miller

Aside from a couple of minor hits, Chicago soul singer Syl Johnson retired from the music industry in the 1980s

The Amazing Nina Simone

Directed by Jeff Lieberman

Nina Simone (1933-2003) defied labels—musical, sexual, or political—and today enjoys a popularity and recognition never realized in her lifetime. Lieberman’s

The Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock and Roll

Directed by Joe Lauro

From New Orleans to Blueberry Hill, the teaming of Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. and Dave Bartholomew is remembered as a

The Glamour & The Squalor

Directed by Marz Evans

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame disc jockey Marco Collins became a radio star in the 1990s, serving as the

The Man With A Movie Camera

Directed by Dziga Vertov

We welcome Los Angeles composer and bassist Tom Peters for a live performance of his score for Vertov’s classic city

Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents

Directed by Don Hardy

The avant-garde music and multimedia collective known as The Residents has never revealed the identity of its members, who always

We Are Twisted F***ing Sister!

Directed by Andrew Horn

When Twisted Sister got their big break in 1983, they became one of the biggest glam rock bands of the