Troubadours

In the wake of the turbulent 1960s, a new style of song and songwriter came to the fore – a style marked by vulnerable introspection and raw, naked emotion. Backed by little more than a lone acoustic guitar or simple piano, these exciting voices descended upon Los Angeles, now emerging as the center of the American music scene. Their epicenter for self-expression became an old beatnik folk club and a fitting name: The Troubadour. TROUBADOURS traces Carole King, James Taylor and the singer/songwriter scene during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film also interweaves the intriguing story of the ‘world famous’ Troubadour club that cemented their musical legacy, the mercurial impresario named Doug Weston who ran it, and the performing careers of some of the best songwriters of their generation – and perhaps any generation: Carole King and James Taylor, as well as Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Eagles and many others.

20 Feet From Stardom

What would a pop song be without the riffs, refrains, and harmonies of its backup vocalists? Although these singers are usually relegated to the margins, and few, if any, become household names, their work has defined countless songs that remain in our hearts and collective consciousness. Twenty Feet from Stardom juxtaposes interviews with industry legends (Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, and others) and the relative unknowns who support them like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill as they illuminate the art of melding their own distinct voices with lead vocals and reveal their desires for careers as solo artists.
[Synopsis courtesy of Sundance]

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

What is the role of music? That question is at the heart of the Silk Road Ensemble, a group of master musicians from around the world brought together by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma to perform, teach, and brainstorm. In The Music of Strangers, Academy Award- winning filmmaker Morgan Neville takes us on a global journey with Ma and the Ensemble that will open your eyes and attune your ears. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]