with Mark Cantor

115 North Street
7-9:30PM | $10 | 707.433.8720

Though jazz festivals are first and foremost about presenting live music, promoters have known for decades that a secret to any festival’s success can be a program of jazz films from the vaults of Mark Cantor.

For 40 years, this passionate archivist has been enthralling audiences with screenings from a collection of more than 4,000 performances; all eras and styles of the music, some even predating jazz. He’s been a mainstay at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and this year he returns to the Raven Theater for Jazz Night at the Movies, with lots of surprises

With so much depth in his film cache, Mark doesn’t have to worry about repeating himself. He always manages to find new historical material to work with. Mark doesn’t like to announce what he’ll be showing beforehand, but we did manage to squeeze a few revelations out of him for the Healdsburg crowd. Jazz lovers, expect to see John Coltrane and Stan Getz playing together on the same stage. How? Because they both ended up as part of the same European tour. Tenor madness? Or just gladness.

A trip in the way, way-back machine brings us to New Orleans pre-“jazz” clarinetists George Lewis and Alphonse Picou playing with trumpeter Punch Miller.  “This is the first time that this performance will have been seen in public in more than half a century,” Mark says. Also new for Healdsburg: the 1958 film and television debut of alto bop great Art Pepper.

As for the rest, who knows? Could be Bird, could be Bing, could be Ella, Duke, Newk, Goodman, Monk – maybe a clip of Chuck Berry playing the blues, or of Jaki Byard giving a quick keyboard demonstration of all the jazz styles from stride to free-form. The audience will be in good hands, as was  Ken Burns when he hired Mark as a consultant/archivist for the PBS landmark “Jazz.” Ditto  dozens of festivals the world over.

When jazz is the subject and Mark is the teacher, history is never dull.