Jazz: Ella Fitzgerald - Social Justice: Sammy Davis Jr.
Ella Fitzgerald: "The Queen of Jazz" and "The First Lady of Song" are two of the titles given to her by her peers. Ella was the second woman to lead an all-male orchestra; she was the first African American to receive a Grammy award. She won fourteen throughout her career. Ella was recognized as Ella throughout the world; selling out concert halls with symphony orchestras, Duke Ellington and his orchestra, or the small groups she traveled with. They all came hear Ella Fitzgerald. Ella Fitzgerald will be seen, in concert, and documentary describing her life.
Sammy Davis Jr. was the greatest of all of the twentieth century performers: dancer, singer, musician, actor, comedian. He covered it all. He was a product of a show business family: on stage from the age of four, and no formal education. Sammy's life was complex: a close friend of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, (The Rat Pack) the relationship with Kim Novak, the endorsement of Richard Nixon, all led to mixed messages to his fans and the African American community. Sammy was a star on the casino and Broadway stage; the movie soundstage yet, there was something missing in the world of Sammy Davis. We'll see Sammy, in full flight, on stage, and review his life through the camera lens of a documentary.
Prof. Buxton’s lifelong passion has been music and documentary filmmaking. He has worked as a professional musician, with the likes of Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstine, and Bill Strayhorn. He has produced shows ranging in scope from the Motown Allstars to B. B. King, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis. He traveled with Ellington producing an award‐winning audio documentary. A longtime jazz club/restaurateur in Seattle and SF, he has also had a long career in broadcasting working for KGO as a newsman, a talk show host, and an executive producer. He is a Northern California Emmy Awardee. He hosts “Saturday Mid‐Day Jazz” on KCSM. Working as a social psychologist/football player have been parts of his life now being put into Memoirs of a Jazz Junkie: My First Two Hundred Years.