Harper Lee: American Masters

Excerpt from Director Mary Murphy’s Scout, Atticus, and Boo

In an excerpt from her book, “Scout, Atticus, and Boo,” that would lead to the documentary AMERICAN MASTERS Harper Lee: Hey Boo, director Mary Murphy details the the way that biographical elements worked their way into the creation and success of Harper Lee’s literary classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Cab Calloway: Sketches

Biographic Essay: Cab Calloway’s Rennaissance

In 1980, Cab Calloway was (re)discovered by a new generation, in a filmed tribute to black music, The Blues Brothers. Long-term jazz fans, young initiates or blossoming rappers would be filled with the spirit of the last living jazz legend.

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

Essay: A Short Biography of Charles and Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames headed the most creative design office in post World War II America. Frequently photographed in matching clothes, poses, or both, each brought a rich array of talents to their life/work partnership (1941-1978) as well as a contagious enthusiasm for life and art.

Bill T. Jones: A Good Man

Biographical Essay and Tribute

Read an essay on the life and achievements of renown dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones written by John Rockwell, originally presented in 2010 when Jones was bestowed with the Kennedy Center Honors.

James Levine: The Life In Music

James Levine’s Official Biography

Over 40 years with the Metropolitan Opera–since his June 5, 1971, debut with Tosca–Music Director James Levine has developed a relationship with that company that is unparalleled in its history and unique in the musical world today. Read about Levine’s career and long relationship with PBS, including as subject for the documentary James Levine: America’s Maestro.

John Muir in the New World

Read a Biographical Essay, John Muir: Nature’s Witness

Read a short biography of John Muir’s travels in the Americas and learn about the luminaries that paved the way for his philosophies of naturalism and preservation. John Muir in the New World airs April 18 on PBS (check local listings).

A Letter to Elia / Reflecting on Kazan

About Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan the director bravely and artfully confronted some of the more pressing social issues of his time: topics such as class division, bigotry and corruption. Read an essay on the life and career of this Hollywood icon.

Cachao: Uno Más

Sobre Cachao

En la herencia formidable de la música cubana, nadie es más importante que el bajista por excelencia, Israel ‘Cachao’ López. Nació en 1918 en una familia de respetados músicos y maestros entrenados de forma clásica, y se convirtió en su más célebre exponente. Criado en La Habana en la misma casa donde nació el legendario patriota, poeta y revolucionario José Martí, Cachao revolucionaría la esencia de la música cubana.

Cachao: Uno Más

About Cachao

Read an essay by John Santos, Historian/Percussionist, on the life and formidable legacy of Cuban musician, Israel ‘Cachao’ López, and his unforgettable contributions to jazz.