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Sicily Jass The world’s first man in Jazz by Michele Cinque



Sicily Jass The world’s first man in Jazz by Michele Cinque

Screening of Sicily Jass The world’s first man in Jazz by Michele Cinque, followed by Q&A with the director and author of the movie.

A journey inside the Sicilian chromosome of jazz, forgotten by the official history; the incredible story of a Sicilian who became the world's first man in jazz,  Sicily Jass: The World's First Man In Jazz is a film about the life, the music, and times of Nick La Rocca, a son of Sicilian immigrants, a self-taught cornet player, and leader of the Original Dixieland Jass Band, the New Orleans based combo which eventually recorded the first jazz record, in New York, in 1917. Moving between fiction and documentary, while traveling from a timeless Sicily through New Orleans past and present, the film follows the infectious rhythms of early jazz and goes deep into an introspective journey narrated by the voice, the gestures and the puppets of Sicilian master Mimmo Cuticchio.

Thanks to the special contribution of historians and jazz critics and along with the discovery of precious archive materials, the film will give the audience the chance to re-live both the incredible success and the sad decline of La Rocca and his fellow musicians. The voice of Nick La Rocca himself, caught in a hitherto unpublished interview, together with the intimacy of the tale of Nick's son, Jimmy, will lead the viewer to discover why La Rocca and his men are often forgotten within the official history of jazz. Needless to add that Sicily Jass comes with an original soundtrack, played by an amazing quintet of Sicilian musicians.


Michele Cinque, graduated in Philosophy at “La Sapienza” University in Rome, and has been working in documentary production, reportage for television and artistic direction of cultural events. In 2007 he directed  “Lavoro Liquido”,  winner of the Premio Opera IMAIE and presented in several international festivals, and “Top Runner”, winner of the Mention D’Honneur, the Senato della Repubblica Italiana Award in FICTS 2009 and the special award at Palermo Sport Film Festival 2010. In 2011 he founded Lazy Film and produced and directed a documentary on the life of Bob Marley and a biography of Louis Armstrong both aired on Rai Due and Rai Storia. He has contributed several contents for Rai Italia, Rai Storia and Rai Tre, including a TV series about extreme sports distributed in Italy, Hong Kong, France and Finland. Since 2013 he has been Rai Italia's foreign correspondent mainly from South America, and between 2013 and 2019 has shot over one hundred films from the world for the TV program "Community". In 2016 he directed the film Sicily Jass, (official selection at the 27th New Orleans Film Festival) co-produced with Rai Cinema, funded for its Cultural Interest by M.I.B.A.C.T. that premiered at the Festival dei Popoli in 2015, and was awarded at the Salina Doc Fest and at the See You Sound in Turin.

In 2015 Michele Cinque began to work on digital arts, creating first Urban-map in Tor Sapienza and then founding the first Light Interaction Design festival in Rome, "Ro-map" (now Solid Light Festival), which has reached its third edition involving an even wider audience. In May 2016 he was invited to create two exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, on video art and interactivity, commissioned by the British institution People Palace Project as part of the Criativo Lab. The first one was on Utopia in the favela of the Marè, RJ, and the second one on the metropolitan transportation of the carioca capital. In 2017 he won the Mibact Migrarti project, and produced the short film "Jululu", set in the ghettos in Puglia where the immigrant farm laborers live. Jululu won the Best Director award at the 74th Venice Film Festival and has been selected from over 30 festivals worldwide. In 2018 he directed "Iuventa", his latest documentary film co-produced with Rai Cinema and ZDF / 3Sat. The film won 3 awards at Biografilm 2018 and has been presented at numerous festivals as well as being distributed in the cinemas in Italy and Germany.




Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : ICI

Entrance : Free

Event is now full


Italian Cultural Institute of New York