The Devil’s Horn: The History and Curse of the Saxophone to Play May 6,7,8 in Victoria. Island Jazz Readers Can Win a Free Pair of Passes.
The Devils’ Horn: The History and Curse of the Saxophone, the latest documentary by award-winning Canadian filmmaker Larry Weinstein (Inside Hana’s Suitcase and Our Man in Tehran) is coming to the Vic Theatre in Victoria for a limited three-day engagement (May 6,7,8) and Island Jazz readers have the chance to win a pair of free passes.
Weinstein, who has made films about classical music in his twenty-year career, has had a longstanding interest in jazz and got the idea for The Devil’s Horn after reading the 2005 book of the same title by Michael Segell. He told Toronto film critic Andrew Parker in a recent interview that “I thought there was a fabulous idea for a film in there because he [Segell] touches on this notion of a curse behind the sax.”
The idea of the curse goes back to the Adolphe Sax (1814-1894), the inventor of the saxophone, who, it is said, led a cursed life (he suffered seven near-death experiences in childhood, went mad and died in poverty).
The devil’s involvement seems to be connected with the Catholic Church which banned the instrument in 1903. The Nazis not only banned it but also burned saxophones and saxophone recordings.Even the communists got in on the act, routinely imprisoning saxophonists. And then there’s the tragic lives of some of its greatest exponents, mostly in the jazz world.
Weinstein’s film explores this storied history but more important, it examines the soulful and seductive power of the instrument said to be the closest to the human voice and at the very heart of modern jazz. The film features interviews with a number of saxophonists including the legendary Jimmy Heath.
If you’d like your name included in the draw, email me at gibrickATgmailDOTcom and write “ticket draw” in the subject line. Include your full name and telephone number in the body of the email. I must receive your entry no later than Wednesday, May 4 at 12 noon. The draw takes place on Thursday.
Movie times are 7pm on Friday, May 6; 4pm on Saturday, May 7; and 7pm on Sunday, May 8. You can view the trailer here.
I’m pleased to announce that my new book, The Perfect Guitar: A Journey of Discovery in a Guitar Maker’s Workshop is out.
If you’re a jazz guitar fan and a supporter of local artists and artisans I think you’ll enjoy it.
The story centers on local guitar maker Robert Anderson who, in the course of a year, built me an acoustic archtop jazz guitar.
But I also went farther afield with my research and interviewed Pat Metheny, Julian Lage, Frank Vignola and Bucky Pizzarelli, along with world renowned Canadian guitar maker Linda Manzer.
It’s a personal story but also eclectic, venturing into art, music, history, philosophy, memoir, science and technology – all the stuff that goes into the making of a hand built guitar and all the values around that enterprise.
Here’s what Victoria novelist D.F. Bailey had to say about the book:
“There is perfection. And there are perfectionists. Rick Gibbs seeks them out – from guitar geniuses Pat Metheny and Julian Lage to master luthiers Linda Manzer and John Monteleone – deftly weaving their stories together with his own quest for the holy grail of guitars. The journey ends with the birth of a new guitar and a state of mind that resonates long after the last chord fills the air.”
I hope you’ll check it out! You can do so here.
I hope to have copies in locals stores soon. In the meantime if you want to purchase a copy directly and avoid the mailing cost, you can contact me through the Cadence House Press website.