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Celebrate America’s music! America's Music is a series of public programs created by the Tribeca Film Institute™ in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in consultation with the Society for American Music.

The programs feature documentary screenings and scholar-led discussions of 20th century American popular music. The sessions will focus on uniquely American musical genres: blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock 'n' roll, and mambo and hip hop.


7:30 pm Wednesday, January 22nd 2014

Join us for a free screening of the documentary "Say Amen, Somebody" at the Martha's Vineyard Film Center, Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road. The film follows gospel singer Willie Mae Ford Smith from her home to jumping church services to emotionally galvanic singing convention. Also features Thomas A. Dorsey, her mentor and the man credited with inventing gospel music. This 1982 film was named Best Documentary by the Boston Society of Film Critics.


7pm Thursdays, January 30th through March 6th, 2014

Peter Boak, director of the Island Community Chorus, hosts a six part film and discussion series begining January 30th 2014 at the Katharine Cornell Theater, 54 Spring St., Vineyard Haven. See details for individual program dates below.

Copyright © 2012 George Nierenberg


Explore the birth of the blues from its Africian roots to its eventual prominence in places like Memphis, Chicago, New York and beyond.

Films Featured:

Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Episode 1: Feel LIke Going Home

Say Amen, Somebody (Excerpts)

More information from Tribeca Film Institute



The 100-year history of musical theater and the story of its relationship to 20th-century American life.

Films Featured:

Broadway: The American Musical, Episode 2: Syncopated City

More information from Tribeca Film Institute



Spans nearly a century of jazz styles, while also highlighting America's first integrated all-women swing band.

Films Featured:

International Sweethearts of Rhythm

Ken Burns' Jazz, Episode 6: Swing, The Velocity of Celebration

More information from Tribeca Film Institute



Traces the emergence of bluegrass from Appalachian descendants of Scotch-Irish settlers into a popular subgenre of country music.

Film Featured:

High Lonesome: The Story of Bluegrass Music

More information from Tribeca Film Institute


Moving between past and present to explore the birth of the blues out of the Mississippi Delta.

Film Featured:

The History of Rock n’ Roll: Episode 6, Plugging In

More information from Tribeca Film Institute



How mambo—the Cuban hybrid of traditaional danson fused with syncopated Afro-Caribbean rhythms—migrated to New York City from Havana in the 1940s and broke social and muscial rules.

Films Featured:

Latin Music USA, Episode 1: Bridges

From Mambo to Hip-Hop A South Bronx Tale

More information from Tribeca Film Institute

America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to
Broadway” is a project of the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American
Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. "America’s
Music" has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the
Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.




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The Vineyard Haven Public Library
200 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Phone: 508.696.4210 & Email: [email protected]
Monday 10 am - 5 pm, Tuesday 10 am - 7 pm, Wednesday & Thursday 10 am - 6 pm, Friday 1 pm - 5 pm, Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm.

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