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Wayne Shorter Documentary Fundraiser Rakes In $300k In One Night

By , UK News Editor | The Jazz Line

A fundraising event for the much-anticipated Wayne Shorter documentary ‘Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity’ has raised almost $300,000 in just one night.

The event, which took place on September 28 at the Bel Air estate of prominent philanthropists Dr. Frank and Shelley Litvack, featured a star-studded musical line-up that included the likes of Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller, and Terri Lyne Carrington coming together to celebrate Shorter’s life and music while encouraging patrons to open their wallets.

The 170 attendees collectively pledged to donate between $250,000 and $300,000 to secure the release of the feature-length documentary, with the largest donations coming from the Herb Alpert Foundation ($150,000) and Carlos Santana ($50,000). However, there’s still a long road ahead before it will be ready for the silver screen.

Last year producers raised just $65,000 through crowd-funding platform Pledge Music. While it barely made a dent in the film’s $1 million fundraising target, it was just enough to allow the film’s director and executive producer Dorsay Alavi to begin production. However, even after subsequent private donations and this successful fundraising event, Alavi told Variety the film still needs an extra $500,000 before it can be completed.

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Fundraising events like this are all too common in the film-making world, but it’s rare to see this kind of support for a feature based on a jazz musician. Earlier this year Zachary Quinto (“Heroes,” “Star Trek”) led a fundraising event in Pittsburgh, PA to support the production of an unscripted competition-documentary that will see two film directors, YouTube star Shane Dawson and New York filmmaker Anna Martemucci, go head-to-head crafting their own films from identical screenplays. After an audience vote, the director of the most popular film will win $250,000.

The documentary, ‘Wayne Shorter: Zero Gravity,’ will see Alavi follow Shorter for 12 months, speaking to his friends, family, and collaborators about the man behind the music while Shorter himself shares stories of his personal experiences in music, jazz, and working with the likes of John Coltrane, Art Blakey, and Miles Davis.

Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Joni Mitchell are just a few of the artists featured in the documentary, which promises to offer “unprecedented access to his creative process, family life and long time collaborators and friends.”

Comedian Sinbad, Blue Note Records president Don Was, and prominent architect Frank Gehry were among the attendees at the exclusive event. Actor Don Cheadle, who recently completed a successful crowd-funding campaign for his Miles Davis biopic ‘Miles Ahead,’ was also among those in attendance.

If you’re interested in donating to the film, you may do so through the Pasadena Arts Council website.

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