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A Screening and Discussion of the 2014 Documentary Film Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B with Director and BU Alumnus Steve Morris
January 16 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B is a film for anyone interested in Rhythm and Blues. Harry Vann, alias Vann “Piano Man” Walls, was one of its pioneers. He was the East Coast’s finest Rhythm and Blues pianist, became composer and arranger at Atlantic Records from 1949 to 1955, came to Montreal, fell in love and lived happily ever after in obscurity… until a fateful night at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal!
The documentary follows Vann and several of his peers, including musicians Dr. John, Ry Cooder, Ruth Brown– the original “Queen of R&B”, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, legendary record producer Jerry Wexler and more, as it wades through his adventure of musical history and performance.
From New York City to Montreal, the viewer takes an intimate voyage to the studio as Vann produces the final album of a career that spanned more than sixty-five years. Wrapped around this recording project is the story of Vann’s fascinating life and his lasting contribution to a musical form now heard all over the world.