From the filmmaker...
What have we done... and why did we do it?
When Clarksdale Mississippi’s 17th annual Juke Joint Festival was cancelled in April 2020, hundreds of musicians and thousands of blues fans from around the world found themselves without the destination that has been the cornerstone of The Delta’s cultural renaissance.
To support the musicians, and bring the fans something they could experience, Ted Reed Productions teamed up with Shared Experiences USA to create a pro bono virtual Juke Joint Festival. Live solo performances were streamed through what would have been the festival’s main day, and an hour-long documentary about the 2019 festival was presented as a Facebook watch party and archived for later viewing.
Throughout the documentary, donation appeals were made to support the Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Musicians Relief fund and the state of Mississippi’s Musician’s Benevolent Fund. Hundreds of dollars for both charities were raised on the day of the documentary’s airing, and contributions continue to this day from viewers watching the archived show.
The blues community may be small, but it is mighty, and it looks out for its own. This was our contribution.
- Ted Reed
Performers in order of appearance:
Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Big Jon Short, Jesse Cotton Stone, Deak Harp, Ghalia Volt, Terry Harmonica Bean, Bill and Shy Perry and Lucy Piper, Marcus Mookie, Big George Brock, Grace Askew, Guy Davis, Libby Rae Watson, Lucious Spiller, Rachelle Coba, Sean Bad Apple, Reverend Peyton’s BDB
Ted Reed is an Emmy-and Oscar-award winning filmmaker Ted Reed has been producing, directing, writing, and shooting films and television since the 1970s. Creating documentaries, commercials, animated features, and broadcast and streaming series, his expertise has led to much success in shows about gender equality, the future of communications technology, immigration, national parks, West Indian music, space tourism, assisted suicide, Jewish innovation, and handgun violence. He was one of the founding producers of television’s first nightly magazine program, partnered with the team who developed the first internet streaming video technology, produced New England’s first local all-digital TV broadcast and pioneered the use of interactive video for large business meetings.
Ted has taught and lectured at Harvard University, Tufts University, Boston University, Endicott College and the Boston Film and Video Foundation. He has brought filmmaking courses to elementary schools, community groups and retirement homes, and continues to run film, photography and music workshops at his office in Gloucester, MA.
Ted's next feature film, The Blues Trail Revisited, a memoir about searching for the Delta Blues fifty years ago and today, is set to debut at the 2021 Clarksdale Film Festival in January.