Jazz on a Summer's Day

Concert film of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, with a line-up that included the likes of Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Etta James, Thelonious Monk, and Chuck Berry.

Time & Tickets

Classic recording – in restored 4D version – of the grandaddy of all music festivals. The edition of 1958 coincided with the America’s Cup Race. Director Bert Stern was already a well-known advertising photographer in the late 1950s, but with JAZZ ON A SUMMER’S DAY he delivered his first film. Performances by jazz legends are interspersed with images of the yacht race and the festival visitors. This cinéma vérité approach was new at the time and influenced many (music) documentaries in the years that followed. The festival’s headliner – and also the last performance in this concert film – was gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, whose set was deliberately postponed until after midnight, because she did not want to perform on the same day as the ‘secular’ musicians on the line-up.

Bert Stern, USA, 1959, 85 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles.