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11:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Open Today 11:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Reel To Reel: Chevalier

Featuring a Panel Discussion with Kelvin Harrison Jr., Stephen Williams, Kris Bowers, and Michael Abels

Plus a Special Performance

The GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to host a special program showing exclusive clips from the new upcoming film Chevalier, in addition to a conversation with notable contributors to the film, including the star of the film Kelvin Harrison Jr., Director Stephen Williams, Composer Kris Bowers, and Producer and Arranger of the Musical Performances Michael Abels. The discussion will be followed by a special performance.

Chevalier is inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr. in a tour de force performance) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and her court. Despite taking place in the late 18th century, the film took a contemporary approach to commemorating the life of this revolutionary historical figure. Pulling inspiration from musical icons like Jimmy Hendrix and Prince, the film brings to life Bologne’s lauded musical work, much of which was destroyed after Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery in 1802 and ordered the suppression of his music.

Through the reimagining of his factual history, much of which was tragically lost, the film portrays one of the many untold stories that deserves to be shared. We hope you can attend and be a part of the celebration of Chevalier’s life and work.

 

KELVIN HARRISON JR. (STAR OF THE FILM)

One of the most in demand actors in Hollywood, Kelvin Harrison Jr. is known for bringing to life some of the most dynamic and diverse characters on screens both big and small. In 2017, Harrison was applauded for her performance in A24’s It Comes At Night which received critical acclaim and earned him a Gotham Award nomination for ‘Breakthrough Actor’. In 2019, Kelvin starred in the Sundance Film Festival drama Luce, which resulted in Independent Spirit Award and BAFTA nominations for both Harrison and the film. The same year, Harrison starred in A24 drama Waves which earned him an African-American Film Critics Association award for “Breakout Performance”. 

In 2020, Harrison won a SAG Award as part of the ensemble cast of the Oscar-nominated film The Trial of The Chicago 7. Also in 2020, Harrison starred as the male lead in The High Note opposite Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson. In 2021, Harrison was seen in MGM’s Joe Wright film, Cyrano starring opposite Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett. Last summer, Harrison was seen in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, as the legend B.B. King. Next, Kelvin stars in the lead role in Searchlight’s Chevalier, a biopic about the French classical composer and virtuoso violinist Chevalier de Saint-Georges, set to release April 21. Additionally, Harrison also will voice the role of ‘Scar’ in Barry Jenkins prequel of Disney’s The Lion King and is attached to star in and executive producer a film based on the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

STEPHEN WILLIAMS (Directed by)

Stephen Williams was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, where his love of visual storytelling began. After spending his high school years in England, he later made his way to Canada and the prestigious Canadian Film Centre. Williams’ breakthrough came when his first film, Soul Survivor, which he wrote and directed, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. He went on to direct several TV episodes and movies such as Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story which won multiple awards, including a Gemini for Best Director. In 2004, Williams directed an episode of “Lost”, the show that won the Emmy for Best Drama that year. 

Over the next five years, Williams directed over 25 episodes of “Lost”, becoming an integral part of the show as a resident director and co-executive producer. Since then, Williams has worked on hit shows such as “Person of Interest”, “The Americans”, “The Walking Dead”, “Ray Donovan”, and “Westworld”. In 2019, Williams signed on to be an executive producer/director for HBO’s “Watchmen”. His episode, “This Extraordinary Being” has been called the best hour of television of the year, and even, by some, of this decade. It earned Williams both an DGA Outstanding Directorial Achievement nomination and an Outstanding Directing For A Limited Series Emmy nomination.

STEFANI ROBINSON (Written and Produced by)

Stefani Robinson is an Emmy®-nominated Writer and Executive Producer with an exclusive overall production deal with FX. She was an Executive Producer and Writer on the critically acclaimed comedy series “Atlanta” which premiered its fourth and final season this last Fall, 2022. Robinson has won two Writers Guild of America Awards for her work on the series, and in 2018, she made Emmy history as the first Black woman to be recognized for nominations in both “Outstanding Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” categories in the same year. She is also the first and youngest Black woman ever nominated for a solo-written entry in the latter writing category. 

Robinson is also celebrated for her work as an Executive Producer and Writer on the hit vampire comedy “What We Do in the Shadows,” which is currently in its fourth season. Her work on the third and fourth seasons garnered her additional Emmy nominations in the same two comedy categories in 2020 and again in 2022. Additionally, she has been nominated for two Critics Choice Awards for “Best Comedy Series,” two Television Critics Association Awards including “Outstanding Achievement in Comedy,” three WGA Awards, and one PGA Award on behalf of the show. 

Her additional television credits include Supervising Producer and Writer on the fourth installment of the Golden Globe® and Emmy award-winning limited series “Fargo” and Staff Writer on the FXX

comedy series “Man Seeking Woman.” As the Writer and Producer, Chevalier marks Robinson’s feature film debut.

KRIS BOWERS (Composer of Original Score)

Emmy award-winning composer and pianist Kris Bowers creates genre-defying music that pays homage to his jazz roots with inflections of alternative and R&B influences. The versatile composer’s repertoire includes documentaries Kobe Bryant’s Muse and Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, scripted series “Bridgerton”, When They See Us and Dear White People, and films ranging from biopics King Richard, Respect, and The United States Vs Billie Holiday, to the live action/animated feature Space Jam: A New Legacy. In 2018, Bowers had the honor of collaborating with Emmy and Academy Awardwinning director Peter Farrelly and Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali on their critically acclaimed and Academy Award winning Green Book, not only scoring the film but also serving as Ali’s on-screen hand-double and piano coach. Bowers received a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” about the Central Park Five. In 2020, he received another Primetime Emmy nomination for his work on the FX miniseries “Mrs. America”, and a further two nominations in 2021 for “Bridgerton”. 

At the 93rd Academy Awards, he was nominated for his documentary short, A Concerto is A Conversation, which he produced, co-directed, and scored. Executive produced by Ava DuVernay, the documentary premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. 

Bowers’ most recent work can be heard on Netflix in seasons one and two of “Bridgerton”, “Inventing Anna”, and “Colin in Black and White”, in the HBO series “We Own This City” (helmed by his King Richard and Monsters and Men director Reinaldo Marcus Green), as well as in the Ava DuVernay HBO Max limited series “DMZ”. His forthcoming film releases include Disney’s Haunted Mansion, from his Dear White People and Bad Hair director Justin Simien, starring Danny DeVito, Owen Wilson, and Tiffany Haddish. 

Bowers has recorded and performed with artists including Q-Tip, Aretha Franklin, Ludacris, Christian Rich, Jay-Z, and Kanye West and has contributed to albums by Marcus Miller, José James, Moses Sumney, and Murs. Bowers is an official Steinway Artist and was named one of twelve ‘Artists to Watch’ by iTunes in 2014. In 2020, he was honored with the Distinguished Film Composer Award by the Middleburg Film Festival. In 2019, he received the prestigious ROBIE Pioneer Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation. 

MICHAEL ABELS (Musical Performances Produced and Arranged by)

Two-time Emmy-nominated composer Michael Abels is known for his genre-defying scores for the Jordan Peele films Get Out and Us, for which Abels won a World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, and multiple critics’ awards. The hip-hop influenced score for Us was short-listed for the Oscar and was even named “Score of the Decade” by The Wrap. Other recent media projects include the films Bad Education, Nightbooks, Fake Famous, and the docu-series Allen v. Farrow. Current releases include Beauty which premiered at the Tribeca Festival and is now streaming on Netflix and Breaking (formerly 892) which premiered at Sundance and opens in theaters August 29. Abels’ third collaboration with Jordan Peele, Nope, released in July 2022.

Abels’ creative output also includes many concert works, including At War with Ourselves for the Kronos Quartet, Isolation Variation for Hilary Hahn, and the opera Omar co-composed with Grammywinning singer/songwriter Rhiannon Giddens, which opens at Los Angeles Opera on October 22. His scores have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and many others. Some of these pieces are available on the Cedille label, including Delights & Dances and Winged Creatures. Current commissions include a work for the National Symphony, and a guitar concerto for Grammy-nominated artist Mak Grgic. 

Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film, gaming, and streaming media.

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