Ken Burns to preview ‘Country Music’ in Aspen on Tuesday
Documentarian Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary “Country Music” doesn’t air until mid-September on PBS. But an Aspen audience will get an early look at portions of the film, with insight from Burns himself, on Tuesday in Harris Concert Hall.
The event, presented by the Aspen Music Festival and School, will feature clips from the 16-hour documentary and commentary from Burns as well as a panel discussion with bassist Edgar Meyer and Aspen Music Fest president and CEO Alan Fletcher.
In the evocative style Burns has developed in films like “Baseball,” “The Civil War” and “Jazz,” this most acclaimed American documentarian explores the history and evolutions of country music from the 1930s through the 1990s, from the days of Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers through Dolly Parton, the outlaw country movement and Garth Brooks. Aspen’s own Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, of course, makes an appearance, too.
It includes never-before-seen footage and photographs, along with more than 80 interviews with country music artists.
“‘Country Music’ is a broad, complex, inter-generational story that’s American history firing on all cylinders,” Burns said. “I don’t know why it took this long in my professional life for me to get to it. It has been so satisfying, so surprisingly deep and rich and more important, moving — like a fine piece of music in any genre.”
The screening begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $200 and benefit the Music Fest and Burns’ nonprofit Better Angels Society, available at Music Fest box offices and aspenmusicfestival.com.