Chuck Stewart’s photography provided by Fireball Entertainment Group, courtesy of Chuck Stewart Photographs of John Coltrane, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Alex Steyermark’s feature films, Prey for Rock & Roll (2003), One Last Thing…(2006), Losers Take All (2013) and documentary The 78 Project Movie (2014) have been acclaimed at dozens of U.S. and International film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, SXSW and BFI London, and are distributed throughout the world. He is a creator, producer and the director of the ongoing critically acclaimed music documentary web series, The 78 Project, which was an official selection at the inaugural Cannes Cross Media Corner and the British Film Institute's Power to the Pixel Cross Media Forum. He is an adjunct professor in the graduate film program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he is the founder of the ASCAP/Columbia Film Scoring Workshop.
Lavinia Jones Wright is a journalist, actor, filmmaker, and musician. With director Alex Steyermark, she traveled America recording musicians on a 1930s-era 78 rpm disc-cutting machine coproducing, writing for, and appearing in The 78 Project Movie and The 78 Project web series. She currently appears on Showtime’s The Affair. A Philadelphia native, she resides in Brooklyn.
The story Bassekou Kouyaté wants to tell is simply this: it was cotton that brought the blues from Mali to America, and it was the ngoni—the West African lute that is a predecessor to the banjo—that brought the songs. Kouyaté would like to make a film about this story—one told, for a change, from an African perspective.