FILM PREMIERE: Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B

logo_festivalMontreal, Tuesday, October 15, 2013– Mate & Orchard Productions Inc. is proud to announce the world premiere of Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B at the 42nd Festival du nouveau cinéma. Steven Morris’ feature-length documentary about rhythm and blues pioneer Vann “Piano Man” Walls is in competition as part of the “Focus” section.

Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R & B is a film for anyone interested in Rhythm and Blues, the father of Rock and Roll. Harry Vann, alias Vann “Piano Man” Walls, was one of its pioneers. He was the East Coast’s finest Rhythm and Blues pianist, became composer, arranger and orchestra leader at Atlantic Records from 1949 to 1955, came to Montreal and lived happily ever after in obscurity… until a fateful night in 1990.

That evening, with Dr. John the Night Tripper, led to a series of events, starting with the director befriending Vann Walls at McGill University, which eventually culminated in the film being launched a full twenty-three years later.

The documentary follows Vann and several of his peers, including musicians Dr. John, Ry Cooder, Ruth Brown– the original “Queen of R&B,” Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, legendary record producer Jerry Wexler and more, as it wades through his adventure of musical history and performance.

From New York City to Montreal, from Boston to Sarasota, the viewer takes an intimate voyage in to the studio as Vann produces the final album of a career that spanned more than sixty-five years. Wrapped around this recording project is the story of Vann’s fascinating life and his lasting contribution to a musical form now heard all over the world.


October 15, 2013: 9pm at Cineplex Odéon Quartier Latin


October 18, 2013: 3pm at Cinema du Parc



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