Tis Autumn--The Search for Jackie Paris

Director: Raymond De Felitta
Screenwriters: Raymond De Felitta

Institute History

  • 2006 Sundance Film Festival


Who is Jackie Paris? How is it possible that he is not famous and, truthfully, has been nearly forgotten? He toured with Dizzy Gillespie, recorded with Thelonious Monk, and actually cut the first vocal recording of "Round Midnight." Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald both referred to him as their favorite male jazz singer, and Downbeat magazine ranked him in the top 10 of male vocalists in 1955 (below Frank Sinatra, but above Ray Charles, Billy Eckstein, and Louis Armstrong).

One only needs to hear Jackie's velvety voice to know there is a back story here. Can it possibly be as simple as bad luck or bad choices? Director Raymond De Felitta not only needs to find these answers; he needs to understand. With camera in hand, he sets out literally to recreate Jackie's meteoric rise, enigmatic career, and mysterious life.

With creative zest, De Felitta pieces together his understanding by going to the source: Jackie himself. He chronicles Jackie's recordings, club gigs, career highlights, and the near misses described by the music folks who knew him when. Tis Autumn—The Search for Jackie Paris is neither just a biography nor merely a tribute. It is the poetic rejuvenation of the career of an artist who led a life worth remembering.

— John Cooper

Screening Details


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