Prolific filmmaker, actor, clarinet player and more
It has become the norm for Woody Allen to play shows abroad over the holiday break so after a concert in Spain he played with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band at the Salle Garnier in Monte-Carlo on Monday, December 29, 2014. The Monegasque public really enjoyed the performance and stood up applauding for repeated encores, until Allen finally said they had to stop to go for dinner. Allen turned 79 earlier this month and looks fine and dandy in his typical attire of oversized corduroy pants.
This successful jazz concert took place only a few months after Allen was filming Magic in the Moonlight in the Riviera, his 44th original movie. Allen has been playing clarinet over thirty-five years with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band, holding his regular Monday night slot at the Carlyle Hotel in New York for more than a decade. He seems to find time between making films to play with his buddies. The group extensive repertoire of blues, spirituals and rags have been influenced by artists like Sidney Bechet, George Lewis, Johnny Dods, Jimmie Noone and Louis Amstrong, plus spontaneous improvisations.
If you are interested, the 105min documentary film Wild Man Blues (1997), directed by Barbara Kopple, portraying Woody Allen traveling with friends and fellow musicians during their 1996 European tour can be watched by clicking on the link below. Worth watching!
From the Bronx to the world
Heywood « Woody » Allen, originally named Allan Stewart Konigsberg, was born December 1, 1935, in the Bronx and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Apparently his parents did not get along what led to an unhappy childhood, besides having problems relating to her temperamental mother. He had a good arm for baseball that he loved more than school. He made money by writing jokes for his agent who in turn sold them to newspaper columnists.
He was 17 when he changed his name to Heywood Allen and began performing as a stand-up comic, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes, developing the persona of an insecure intellectual, very different from his real personality. After over 37 years undergoing psychoanalysis, he describes himself as a militant Freudian atheist.
But all that is past history, as Woody Allen has become a renowned actor, prolific filmmaker with over forty movies to his credit and counting, comedian, and musician performing regularly as a jazz clarinetist at small venues in Manhattan, with an overall career that spans more than half a century. He often stars in his movies and some of his best known films are Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love, Blue Jasmine that got several awards, and many more. He has been nominated 24 times and won four Academy Awards. He has more screenwriting Academy Award nominations than any other writer and has won 9 British Academy of Film and TV Arts Awards.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen
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