Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait

January 24, 2019 – 7:30pm – Brendle Recital Hall

Jenny Scheinman, an acclaimed composer, singer, and violinist, was commissioned by Duke Performances to make an original live score set to 70-year-old archival footage taken by the late North Carolina filmmaker H. Lee Waters. Scheinman and her musical sidemen — Robbie Fulks and Robbie Gjersoe — create a soundtrack of new folksongs, fiddle music, and field sounds to accompany Waters’ fascinating footage of the Piedmont in the early ’40s, masterfully stitched together by film director Finn Taylor and film editor Rick LeCompte.

“Scheinman [has] a distinctive vision of American music, suffused with plainspoken beauty and fortified all at once by country, gospel, and melting-pot folk, along with jazz and the blues” (New York Times).

During the ’30s and ’40s, H. Lee Waters made more than 200 films capturing life in the Piedmont, which he called Movies of Local People. The full slate of Waters’ movies — the only such collection from an itinerant American filmmaker of the era — are now housed at Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Scheinman, who recently recorded The Littlest Prisoner for Sony Masterworks with Bill Frisell and Brian Blade, employs her formidable musical ingenuity to make a stirring new presentation drawing from this rich artifact of American cinema.

Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait

Music by Jenny Scheinman
Film by Finn Taylor
All footage shot by H. Lee Waters between 1936-1942

Jenny Scheinman — composer, arranger, violin, vocals
Robbie Fulks — guitar, banjo, vocals
Robbie Gjersoe — resonator guitar, baritone electric guitar, vocals
Finn Taylor — film director
Rick LeCompte — film editor
Trevor Jolly — sound designer

Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait was commissioned by Duke Performances at Duke University. The piece premiered at Duke’s Reynolds Industries Theater on Friday, March 20, 2015

Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait was made possible, in part, with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; a grant from The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; a grant from New Music USA; a Visiting Artist Grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University; support from the Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University; and a gift from Neil D. Karbank.




All tickets are general admission and doors to the hall open at 7:00 PM.

Adults – $18

Senior (62+) – $15

Non-WFU Student (12+) – $10

Child (5-12) – $5

Children under 5 free

Admission is free for WFU students, faculty, staff, and retirees by showing your WFU or WFU Medical School ID.

Wake Forest University and Medical School faculty, staff and retirees receive free admission for themselves and one guest to each Secrest Artists Series performance. WFU students and Medical School students receive free admission for themselves. Simply show your WFU I.D. at the door.

Tickets on sale now! Click here.

Jenny Scheinman
Musicians and projected film by H. Lee Waters
Photo of girls by H. Lee Waters
Photo of boy by H. Lee Waters
Photo of men by H. Lee Waters