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Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes

+ Feven Kidane Sextet Live

Black History Month  |  Celebrating Black Futures

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Born in January, 1924, Maxwell Roach would become one of the defining percussionists of his era. A pioneer in bebop, he played with game-changers like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis, led a sublime quintet with Clifford Brown in the 1950s, and kept reinventing his sound, exploring free jazz and even delving into hip-hop. Roach was a political animal, and his music was inextricable from his activism. With his wife Abby Lincoln he recorded We Insist! in 1960, a seminal protest record at the advent of the Civil Rights period. Based on interviews recorded with Roach by co-directors Sam Pollard (Two Trains Runnin’; MLK/FBI; Mr Soul!) and Ben Shapiro in the 1980s, The Drum Also Waltzes is a landmark celebration of a colossus in African American music.


In advance of the screening, we’re kicking off the Celebrating Black Futures series with a specially commissioned jazz set by the Feven Kidane Sextet and produced by the Jazz Infidels.

Trumpeter Feven Kidane brings a dynamic group of six to play the music of Max Roach in belated 100th birthday and Black History Month celebrations. She is delighted to bring aboard Quincy Mayes on keys, Nebyu Yohannes on trombone, John Nicholson on sax, Bella Fedrigo on bass, and Edmonton’s Biboye Onanuga on drums.

Feven Kidane – Trumpet
Nebyu Yohannes – Trombone
Quincy Mayes – Piano
Biboye Onanuga – Drums
John Nicholson – Sax
Bella Fedrigo – Bass


Feven Kidane Sextet: 6:30 pm (approx 50 minute set + ten minute intermission)
Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes: 7:50 pm approx

Celebrating Black Futures is co-presented with the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Kika Memeh

Your ticket to this event includes free admission to the Vancouver Art Gallery (value $29).

In order to remove financial barriers to participate in this premium event, VIFF and the VAG are making a limited number of tickets available at a lower price point to those in the community who are fiscally disadvantaged.


If you know people who play drums, want to play drums, or want to play drums better, Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes could effect a turning point in their lives.

John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Another towering and imperative installment in Pollard’s dedication to recording the titans of Black life.

Robert Daniels,

This crucial music documentary… focuses on Roach’s decades of combining the musical and political, as anchored by interviews recorded by the co-directors in the 1980s and ’90s… Raw, unapologetic, and full of Roach’s unique sense of rhythm—not just behind the drumset.

Sam Machkovech, The Stranger


Co-Presented by

Thanks to Infidels Jazz

Live Jazz Performance

6:30 pm

Film Starts

7:50 pm


Sam Pollard &
Ben Shapiro


Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Abbey Lincoln, Harry Belafonte

Country of Origin






82 min

Book Tickets

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Ben Shapiro


Russell Greene

Original Music

Christopher North

See More Films from Black History Month