Symphony in Riffs: Benny Carter

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem Presents: Jazz on Film

Symphony in Riffs: Benny Carter

Hosted by Ed Berger with Special Guest Mrs. Hilma Carter

Symphony in Riffs: Benny Carter


Harrison Engle, 1989, 58 min

Benny Carter has such a prolific career, from breaking the color line for Hollywood composers, to being one of the most imitated saxophonists in jazz’s early years, to creating a new sound for jazz big bands in the 1930′s, that his Harlem accomplishments are frequently overlooked. It was Carter’s band that opened the new Apollo Theater in 1934, and in years to come, they were regularly featured at the Savoy Ballroom. We should also mention that Mr. Carter was an early booster of NJMH, a tradition Mrs. Hilma Carter has continued since his 2007 passing. This documentary film from 1988 caught Carter as he leapt undiminished into his 80′s. Hosted by Carter’s biographer and long-time record producer Ed Berger.