“Downtown Express,” a new film by David Grubin about Russian immigrants living in New York City, and featuring music written and produced by Distinguished Lecturer Michael Bacon (JCT), will open on Friday, April 20, at the QUADcinema, located at 34 West 13th Street in Manhattan. Starring Philippe Quint and Nellie McKay, the film uses music to explore the clash of old world values against the lure and excitement of a new country.
Admission for CUNY students is $8 for groups of twenty or more for opening weekend (April 20-22). To arrange for group tickets, e-mail Sara Kiener at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual CUNY students may purchase tickets for $8 at the box office for showings on Mon., April 23, through Thurs., April 26, the last day of the film’s screening. A validated CUNY I.D. is required.
Under the watch of his loving but overbearing father, virtuoso violinist and Juilliard student Sasha (Grammy nominee Philippe Quint) prepares for a critical recital meant to launch his career. Yet, he is increasingly drawn to the rhythms of the streets of New York, and when he meets singer-songwriter Ramona (recording artist Nellie McKay), he joins her band, falls in love, and begins to lead a double life, careening frantically between two worlds. As his classical debut nears, Sasha must decide whether to break with his father and forge his own destiny.
Music for the film was recorded at Lehman Studios, a state-of-the-art recording facility located within the College’s new Multimedia Center. The studio includes a Steinway Studio Grand piano, Peavey guitar amps, and sliding wall panels that can be adjusted to create a warm sound or a traditional studio ambiance.
Since its launch, the studio has been the go-to venue for musicians, including Lehman Music Professor Molly Morkoski, a professional concert pianist who is currently recording a new album featuring the music of Gabriela Frank. Pianist and songwriter John Bucchino will also use the studio to record his arrangement of Beatles tunes. Most recently, the studio was used to record a series of educational music DVDs, produced by “Learning from the Legends.” The DVDs feature lessons by violinist Lara St. John and trumpeter Rolf Smedvig.
For more information about the film, visit downtownexpressfilm.com.