Jazz on a Summer's Day
Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960) is a documentary film set at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island, and filmed and directed by noted commercial and fashion photographer Bert Stern and the film director Aram Avakian, who also edited the movie. The Columbia Records jazz producer, George Avakian, was the musical director of the Newport Jazz Festival at the time.
The film mixes images of water and the city with the performers and audience at the festival. It also features scenes of the 1958 America's Cup yacht races. The film is largely without dialog or narration (except for periodic announcements by emcee Willis Conover).
The film features performances by Jimmy Giuffre, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, and others.
Also appearing are Buck Clayton, Jo Jones, Armando Peraza, and Eli's Chosen Six, the Yale College student ensemble that included trombonist Roswell Rudd, shown playing Dixieland as they drive around Newport in a convertible jalopy.
Many performances ran long, so that the last act, Mahalia Jackson, did not appear on stage until after midnight, wowing the audience with “The Lord's Prayer.”
The movie was written by Albert D'Annibale and Arnold Perl. It was directed by Aram Avakian and Bert Stern.
In 1999, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
(United States, 1960, 85 minutes, color, 35mm)