This weekend's Jazz: Real to Reel, taking place at Long Beach's Art Theatre, will celebrate jazz's influence in cinema and music through a variety of screenings, music and other activities. The event will also honor Johnny Mandel and Jack Sheldon with lifetime achievement “jazz beret” awards for their contributions to the fields of jazz and cinema.
“Mandel and Sheldon have each contributed more than 50 years of their lives to composing and performing jazz music on stage, recordings and in film,” says 88.1 KKJZ's Helen Borgers, who is hosting the weekend's festivities. “Each has left an indelible mark on the history of the music.”
Real to Reel opens on Saturday with a screening of A Great Day in Harlem, which highlights the golden age jazz personalities behind the iconic 1958 Esquire photograph. The festivities keep swinging with a recreation of what a Great Depression-era all-night jam session courtesy of Robert Altman's film Jazz '34: Remembrances of Kansas City Swing. Saturday's events end with a screening of the 1956 film I Want to Live!, which earned actress Susan Hayward an Oscar and Golden Globe. Honoree Mandel composed the jazz-inspired score.
Sunday kicks off with a retrospective of jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan through home movie clips, concert footage and interviews. Borgers and Los Angeles Jazz Institute founder/director Ken Roston then host a dialogue on the topic of jazz in film. A performance by Cal State Long Beach's Concert Jazz Orchestra then takes place along 4th St.
Mandel and Sheldon will then receive their 'jazz beret' awards and the events will then wind down with a screening of 1965's The Sandpipers. The film won the Oscar for Best Original Song, with Mandell composing “The Shadow of Your Smile”, a song that featured Sheldon on trumpet.
Jazz: Real to Reel / Live and on Film takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Art Theatre in Long Beach, 2025 East Fourth Street, Long Beach. $18 general admission. $35 VIP tickets for both days.