Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
JAZZ A Film By Ken Burns
Places, Spaces and Changing Faces
Jazz Lounge
Jazz in Time
Behind the Beat
Jazz Exchange
About the Show
Related Links
Jazz Near You
Shop Jazz
Jazz Links
Jazz Cards
Miles Davis on stage, Boston 1968
About the ShowCredits
Credits Count Basie Orchestra at Apollo Theater, NYC
Other About the Show Sections
Film Credits | Web Credits | Photo Credits

Ken Burns

Ken Burns has been making documentary films for more than twenty years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War (1990) and Baseball (1994). The historian Stephen Ambrose has said of Ken's films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source."

Ken's films have ranged from two-part biographies of some of America's most important men and women, including Thomas Jefferson (1997), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997) and Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony (1999), to multi-episodic films like The Civil War and JAZZ.

Ken's epics have received numerous accolades. The Civil War was the highest rated series in the history of American public television and attracted an audience of 40 million during its premiere in September 1990. The columnist George Will said, "If better use has ever been made of television, I have not seen it and do not expect to see better until Ken Burns turns his prodigious talents to his next project." The series was honored with more than 40 major film and television awards.

The eighteen and a half hour long Baseball attracted more than 45 million viewers. David Bianculli of the New York Daily News said that the film "resonates like a Mozart symphony." Time Magazine wrote that "Baseball is rich in drama, irresistible as nostalgia, and... and instructive window into our national psychology." The film won numerous awards, including an Emmy, the CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Clarion Award, and the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports and Special Programming.

In addition, Ken has made several other award-winning films, including The Shakers: Hands to Work; The Statue of Liberty, also nominated for an Oscar; Huey Long; The Congress: The History and Promise of Representative Government; Thomas Hart Benton; and Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio. Ken Burns resides in Walpole, New Hampshire, with his two daughters.