By Stephanie CASTILLO


Biography - Completed 2016

Destined to be among the great virtuosos of jazz, Thomas Chapin, an alto sax and flute master, was nearing the pinnacle of his meteoric rise when leukemia took him at the age of 40 in 1998. Though fame and world recognition have eluded him despite the mark he left on jazz n the '80s and '90s, his pa

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Biography, Art - Culture, Documentary
    • Countries
    • USA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 89 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Stephanie CASTILLO
    • Writer(s)
    • Stephanie CASTILLO, Noel IZON
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Through the documentary NIGHT BIRD SONG: THE INCANDESCENT LIFE OF THOMAS CHAPIN, you will discover a never-been-told story straight out of the jazz history books about the short but remarkable life of Thomas Chapin, a creative musical force who emerged in the 1980's in New York jazz scene, whose highly original style helped move the music forward in the 1990's. He is truly an unknown legend in jazz.

      Chapin was admired for his exuberance as a multi-instrumentalist, band leader and composer. Once a musical director for the legendary Lionel Hampton, he was one of the few artists of his generation to exist in both the worlds of the New York City's downtown, experimentalist scene and the uptown scene of mainstream jazz. The saxophonist-flautist was just making his mark when his life was cut short when died from leukemia in 1998 at age 40.

      You will meet a passionate soul who lived like there was no tomorrow in tireless pursuit of doing what he loved. In the face of a childhood condition that left him aware every day that life was fragile, Thomas Chapin soared and gained altitude, living out his dream of making edgy, engaging, exhilarating music that pushed jazz forward.

      Though he passed 15 years ago, his music lives on. And through the film, an unforgettable tale of love and passion, courage and boldness will unfold. NIGHT BIRD SONG is a tragic yet triumphant story of one artist who took the road less traveled, who faced its end much too soon when dreams still burned.

      Before he passed, Thomas Chapin had come into his own: having realized his own signature sound, having released numerous important albums, having gained a reputation for many outstanding live performances, and he was on the cusp of wide-audience recognition when he died. Thomas Chapin continues to be highly regarded as an influential and inspirational force to those who knew him and to those who continue to discover him.

      At his death, Chapin was called a virtuoso, "full of incredible energy, experimenting and pushing the envelope all of the time, never letting up."

      EMMY Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stephanie J. Castillo's NIGHT BIRD SONG: THE INCANDESCENT LIFE OF THOMAS CHAPIN reveals to the world this important voice for jazz missed in the 21st century, a voice that will continues to exhilarate and inform the music for generations to come.

      This is Castillo's 10th documentary.
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