Icons Among Us: Jazz Doc/Tour


Charlie Hunter
Paradigm Studio partners with Don Q Rum in association with Rums of Puerto Rico to present Icons Among Us: Jazz In The Present Tense. The four-part documentary film series examines the world of contemporary jazz looking at today's brightest talent. Featuring live footage and interviews, the films include many current jazz icons including The Bad Plus, Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran, Benevento/Russo Duo, Robert Glasper, Charlie Hunter, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Medeski Martin & Wood. The films also feature these performers' legendary predecessors and influences including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Wynton Marsalis. The Documentary Channel will telecast the Icons Among Us series on four consecutive Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning April 20 following its world premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 15.

In addition to the documentary, the Icons Among Us tour will hit major markets throughout the U.S. in April and May. A two-leg tour featuring Soulive with special guest Russell Gunn on the first leg and the daKAH Hip Hop Orchestra on the second leg, the Icons Among Us tour consists of live performances paired with visuals from the documentary.

Soulive with special guest Russell Gunn

04.19 Boston, MA The Paradise
04.26 Chicago, IL Double Door
05.01 New Orleans, LA Studio at Colton Theatre
05.02 Austin, TX Antone's
05.09 Seattle, WA Neumo's

daKAH Hip Hop Chamber Orchestra
05.24 Boston, MA Middle East
05.25 Chicago, IL Double Doo
r 05.27 Austin, TX Antone's
05.28 New Orleans, LA Tips French Quarter
05.30 Seattle, WA Neumo's

Executive Producer John W. Comerford fashioned Icons Among Us from seven years of interviews with over 75 living jazz artists in high definition and over 25 hours of live performances recorded on super sixteen millimeter film in popular venues across the U.S. and Europe. Presented in four movements, Icons Among Us premiers with "A Quiet Revolution," directly challenging perceptions of what jazz is and what it is becoming by examining its innovative new voices as well as their influential forebears. Subsequent movements explore a vast array of topics including the contemporary take on straight ahead and free jazz, the migration of jazz to Europe and jazz's expansion beyond its own boundaries into other musical genres including hip-hop and rock.

Icons Among Us will be telecast on The Documentary Channel, the USA's first 24-hour television network exclusively devoted to documentary films and the independent documentary filmmaker, providing viewers with round-the-clock opportunities to see fascinating, eclectic and award-winning documentary films of all lengths and genres. DOC was founded by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Tom Neff (CEO) in January 2006. DOC now reaches over 21 million homes nationwide via DISH Network (Channel 197) and several broadcast stations in major television markets, including NYC TV (Channel 25) throughout the greater New York metropolitan area. Telecast details can be found at www.documentarychannel.com.


[Published on: 4/9/09]

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gratefullybred starstarstar Thu 4/9/2009 03:37PM
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awesome, missed a few key contemporary artists for sure which is a bummer. but good to see someone shed some light on the jazz scene of today, no matter how dim it may be..

jalew Thu 4/9/2009 04:24PM
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holy shit batman! drool.

sixstringbrad starstarstarstarstar Thu 4/9/2009 06:31PM
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This looks sick!

mesaxi starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/10/2009 06:43AM
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sooo...this is only a movie right, not a live tour? I don't see Herbie and Wayne playing the double-door. Sounds bitchin either way

Deibert starstarstar Fri 4/10/2009 11:10AM
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I am a little disappointed Wayne Krantz and his trio was not included in this documentary. I cannot think of another artist who exemplifies contemporary jazz more than Wayne

ghilliesblunt starstarstarstarstar Fri 4/10/2009 02:26PM
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mesaxi: no, herbie wont be there at the dub door w/ soulive but he will back in the chicago area @ ravinia this summer...i cant wait to bring a cooler full of ice cold brews without gettin charged to open em while listening to herbie on the north shore beach, nothin sounds better

gratefullybred Fri 4/10/2009 03:40PM
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Deibert- I fully agree, one of the big guys I feel they totally missed. What about Chris Potter? Brad Melhdau? Kurt Rosenwinkle? The list could go on, but those are some sorely missed names right there, especially Krantz. That guy is pushing music so far forward it is unbelievable..

iconsamongus Sat 4/11/2009 04:43AM
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gratefullybred, Deibert & JamBase readers - my name is michael rivoira and i am co-director and originator of "Icons Among Us : jazz in the present tense"

i felt i should respond to some of the comments regarding what artists we may or may not have included in this documentary. I started this documentary in 2001 in hopes of bringing more attention to all the amazing musicians and bands that were going largely unnoticed by the masses. the word "jazz" to many people means a genre of music that is complicated, sometimes boring or confusing music that is mostly still the same as it was 30+ years ago. a museum piece.

the JamBase community and myself know this is not true at all. this music is moving forward very rapidly and the younger generation of players are incorporating all the types of music that influenced them and they all listen to a very wide range of music. the word "jazz" is the only thing that has stayed the same. regardless, those of us who listen and support creative, improvised music, know that the umbrella of "jazz" now covers a wide range, too wide to just pass it off as some nostalgic novelty of musicians who only want to preserve the tradition and live in the past.

that being said , i was lucky enough to find the people that helped me bring my vision into a reality. master cinematographer Lars Larson and an amazing film/music producer, John Comerford.. both avid music lovers with great, eclectic taste. Once we came together, we immediately went to work. Then a few years later, i met the now lead editor at a mutual friends wedding in italy ( bassist christopher thomas of Brian Blade fellowship ) a very random , chance meeting that i can't imagine never having. So i have always felt that fate had brought us all together for whatever reasons to create this documentary. I don't think any of us thought it would take a near decade to complete !

now comes the real point to this (lengthy) response. the musicians listed in most of the press releases are NOT the only musicians covered in this documentary. We interviewed over 75 musicians and we have filmed a very large list of performances from 2002-2009.

so to "gratefullybread" : Yes, Rosenwinkle is included in this doc as well as Chris Potter and as much as we love Mehldau.. let me just say this. . we tried very hard to get his attention in hopes of filming him and interviewing him as well. but we respect any personal reasons why any musicians may not be available or willing to be filmed. i am still a huge fan of his music and we definitely have plenty of other musicians that talked about how great of a player he is.

I am proud of the amount of musicians we were able to capture though and i think everyone will be surprised at just how many people ARE included in the film. It is so much that it has been challenging to work in all the great commentary into a four part series. You can find a list of musicians in some of the full press releases and other places around the web. google is your friend, google will guide you all to any information we have floating around the web about who, when , what. please joing the facebook pages, myspace, etc. all under the name "Icons Among Us"

Not only do we have Kurt Rosenwinke and Chris Potter but we also have Potter performing with Dave Holland and Rosenwinkle performing with Brian Blade and The Fellowship, as well as at a benefit for JazzReach including Antonio Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Sam Yahel, Myron Waldon,

I could go on and on so i will stop here. I will try to answer any more questions anyone might have on here ! I hope you all see the entire series. I really want to give credit to all the musicians that were involved in this film and i am very much dedicated to making this happen over the course of future press, interviews, etc.

Thanks and sorry for the lengthy post!


iconsamongus Sat 4/11/2009 04:55AM
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mesax : Yes, it is a movie AND a music tour that will be playing in select cities. go to iconsamongus.com for info. The world premier is open to the public and will be at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 15th. tickets are also available on the site. Also featuring a performance by Brian Blade and The Fellowhip Band. There will be several musicians attending that are featured in the Documentary. One more note : ALL music performances were shot in REAL FILM! super16mm and it looks amazing. majority of the interviews were shot in HD except those shot towards the very start of production. HD wasn't even really available to us in 2002 , 2003. We have been filming for so long that even the technology has changed several times! another reason the 16mm film was a bonus ! you can see some samples at iconsiphone.com most of our promo videos are iphone friendly ! everyone please add us on myspace and facebook! we would be very grateful to anyone that can help spread the word about this documentary ! t



JazzMillions starstarstarstarstar Sat 4/11/2009 10:11AM
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JFJO is in this right? 1+1+1= Buddha ? thats a funny clip

JazzMillions starstarstarstarstar Sat 4/11/2009 10:14AM
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what about Skerik?

gratefullybred starstarstarstarstar Sat 4/11/2009 11:41AM
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Awesome to see a response from you, I hope you do not see my comments as negative! cause it is anything but! My enthusiasm is high, as being a musician in the contemporary jazz scene of today as well. I applaud your project highly, and was very excited when a friend of mine showed me the trailer to this a few months ago.

We can always nitpick about a few musicians who aren't included in a project like this, but your undertaking of this vast scene of today is totally legit. I can't wait to watch..