On Friday, September 22, in a nod to U.S. President and A Nation of Immigrants author John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday, Wordless Music Orchestra and National Sawdust co-presented a film screening of JACKIE with exhilarating live score accompaniment by the Wordless Music Orchestra. The evening highlighted composer Mica Levi, known as Micachu, whose Academy Award nomination for composing the film’s soundtrack marked the first nomination of a female composer in 20 years. Directed by Pablo Larraín and written by Noah Oppenheim, JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, as seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination.
Master Improvisers: On Saturday, September 23, in a double-header evening supported in part by the Garcia Family Foundation, audience members embarked on a staged excursion through the indigenous music of the Origins season to come, guided in part by National Sawdust resident artists and curators: Lithuanian-American guitarist Abraham Brody, Pulitzer-winning Chinese multi- instrumentalist Du Yun and her experimental ensemble Ok Miss, and the emerging mavericks of Russian Renaissance, winners of the prestigious 2017 M Prize. Later, the night culminated in an exhilarating selection of music from percussionist Stéphane San Juan, aided by a slew of master improvisers, including Grammy-winning trumpeter Michael Leonhart, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, jazz vocalist Magos Herrera, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco, Brazilian pianist and accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, and other special guests.