Film Series: The Sounds of Summer on Screen

Explore visual expressions of music in the galleries, then enjoy the sounds of summer with a series of documentaries highlighting music in the summertime.

Free with Museum admission.

No reservations taken. The theater opens at 4:00 p.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

A woman shown waist up, holding her hands with her eyes closed, singing into a microphone.

Jazz on a Summer’s Day (1959), NR

Directed by Bert Stern
Friday, July 12, 4:30–5:55 p.m.

Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and directed by world-renowned photographer Bert Stern, Jazz on a Summer's Day features intimate performances by an all-star lineup of musical legends, including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk and Mahalia Jackson.

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Monterey Pop (1968), NR

Directed by D. A. Pennebaker
Friday, July 19, 4:30–5:50 p.m.

On a June weekend in 1967, the Monterey International Pop Festival captured a decade’s spirit and ushered in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar and more. With his characteristic vérité style, D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that would become legend.

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Summer of Soul (2022), PG-13

Directed by Questlove
Friday, July 26, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Summer of Soul is part music film, part historical record, created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, the Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten—until now. This feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, B. B. King and more.

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Jazz on a Summer’s Day, Kino Lorber, © Galaxy Attractions; Otis Redding performing at The Monterey International Pop Music Festival, HBO-Cinemax/Photofest © HBO-Cinemax; Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021), Searchlight Pictures/Photofest © Searchlight Pictures