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Ken French Media

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Jazz Ambassadors

The goal of this 30 minute documentary is to convey the mutual respect, understanding and joy experienced on both sides of a cultural exchange run by the Burlington Yaroslavl Sister Cities Program. The film hopes to encourage greater acceptance of foreign cultures and reveal the many similarities between the people of Burlington and Yaroslavl, Russia  The film is slated for airing on Vermont PBS this Fall.


In March, Ken French accompanied the Vermont band, Eight 02, to Russia. He returned with many hours of footage including travel, meetings, publicity events, sightseeing, rehearsals and five complete performances. He filmed interviews with all band members and staff of the Yaroslavl Jazz Center, plus interviews with Sergei Ushakov, the sound engineer at Nectar’s Lounge in Burlington and a Yaroslavl native.  While onsite in Russia he also edited and published a series of six daily video blogs. Upon return he edited and published a music video to the Eight 02 song, “Subway Scene”, with footage of the historic Rostov Kremlin.


In June The Overdrive Blues Band from Yaroslavl completed the exchange by performing at the Discover Jazz Festival in Burlington. Ken documented their visit, including their arrival, meetings and events, rehearsals and performances. He interviewed the english speaking band members and Burlington Yaroslavl Sister Cities Program staff; and did follow up interviews with Eight 02 members.