July 23, 2007, Chicago — Acclaimed Chicago filmmaker Daniel Kraus has announced that his newest documentary, MUSICIAN — a profile of one of the city’s hardest working jazz figures, Ken Vandermark—will have a sneak preview at 8:15pm on Friday, August 24 at the Gene Siskel Film Center. Vandermark will perform a rare solo set of original music before the show, and both Kraus and Vandermark will be in attendance for a Q&A. Then it’s off to the theatrical opening at New York’s Pioneer Theater, 9pm September 5- 11, with a Vandermark solo set preceding each screening.
MUSICIAN is the second entry into Kraus’s nascent Work Series (workseries.com), a series of cinéma vérité documentaries about working in America. After a successful film festival and theatrical run, the first movie, SHERIFF, became the 2006 season premiere of the Emmy award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens” and was praised by the LA Times, New York Post, Chicago Reader, The Onion, Variety, TV Guide and many more.
SHERIFF will be released on DVD in October by the Chicago-based Facets Video, whose stable of directors include Michelangelo Antonioni, James Fotopoulos, Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Lars Von Trier. Facets intends to release the entire Work Series; MUSICIAN is slated for 2008. Taking inspiration from Studs Terkel and Frederick Wiseman, Kraus has shaped himself into a one-man studio/archivist, and directs, produces, shoots, and edits the Work Series almost entirely by himself. Kraus has been a regular contributor to such publications as Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Salon, and Maxim, and works as an editor at the American Library Association. His previous two award-winning films, JEFFTOWNE and BALL OF WAX, are both available on DVD.
A major figure of the Chicago jazz scene and internationally renowned on the avantgarde stage, Ken Vandermark has been exploring and expanding the possibilities of improvised and composed music for the past 20 years. In 1999, at the age of 35, Vandermark was awarded a prestigious MacArthur “genius” grant. Vandermark has consistently been noted as one of the nation’s most significant musicians by such publications as Down Beat Magazine and All About Jazz.
MUSICIAN runs 60 min. Vandermark’s solo set will run approx. 30 mins. The Gene Siskel Center is at 164 North State Street, (312-846-2600). The Pioneer Theater is at East 3rd Street, between Avenues A and B, (212- 591-043).