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Three Movies & A Trumpeter


Chances are good that you’ve got a little time on your hands these days and you may just find yourself in front of the DVR. We’ve picked three holiday films we like — for no other reason than we’d watch them again if you made the popcorn.

And to put a great big bow on the present: we have a conversation with the great New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard. He is no stranger to the movie biz: something he’s talked about with Gwen. But on this week’s program, he tells us about his influences and the story behind this Summer’s opera in Jazz.


click to see in iTunes
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Grammy Nomination

And there’s great news: Blanchard has been nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award. “Don’t Run” from his album Magnetic has been nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.

Give it a listen while you pop the popcorn.
Don’t Run





The Lady Eve
Preston Sturges, 1941
Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn


Leave it to Gwen to pick a screwball comedy. But a screwball comedy with a heart.

“The movie I like is the Preston Sturges screwball classic, The Lady Eve. It stars Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda and some of the best character actors you ever saw. The movie has nothing really to do with Christmas, but shares an important message:

“No one is ever as good as you think … and no one is ever as bad. ”

This is a message to remember when you’re around your relatives.



White Christmas
Michael Curtiz, 1954
Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen


Producer Seán Collins has picked the classic Christmas showbiz tale of love and choreography, White Christmas.

Bing & Danny lip sync "Sisters"“I have searched my whole life for a nightclub like Novello’s: open-air roof with a tropical breeze, a boffo floor show, and just enough gender-bending to keep my inner eight year old wondering What’s up with that?

“I love everything about this movie. I love the buddy-picture bravado of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I love Rosemary Clooney’s big sisterly concern and the midnight sandwiches with buttermilk. And, like all humans, I marvel at Vera Ellen’s waistline.

“Face it — this movie has it all: a nosy housekeeper, a club car, a convenient barn that can double as a theater, and a terrific message about helping out an old friend.

“Oh, and when in doubt, you can’t go wrong by putting on a show.”


Jon Favreau, 2003
Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel


Santa: I’ve been to New York thousands of times.
Buddy: Really?
Santa: Mm-hmm.
Buddy: What’s it like?
Santa: Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn’t free candy.
Buddy: Oh.
Santa: Second, there are, like, thirty Ray’s Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one’s on 11th. And if you see a sign that says “Peep Show”, that doesn’t mean that they’re letting you look at the new toys before Christmas.


Producer Margaret Howze, a self-proclaimed schlub when it comes to the cinema (but she knows her music, trust us) is recommending the endearing Will Ferrell holiday flick Elf. And we’re so glad she has, because the movie is simply charming. And it has a great cast.

“I think I’m going through a Will Ferrell phase anyway (because of the relentless promotion of Anchorman II) – pretty much anything he does cracks me up. As lesser Christmas movies fade away, “Elf” is, for me, near the top of the holiday film canon.”



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