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Bard Fisher Center Presents The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with Live, Original Score by Chris Washburne

Presented in partnership with Catskill Jazz Factory

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The classic silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari comes to new life accompanied by the live, original music of jazz genius Chris Washburne and his ensemble Rags and Roots, with vocalist Brianna Thomas. Drawing on melodies from 1921, the year the film was released, the score features a live tap dancer and a septet of top jazz artists accompanying and interacting in real time with a newly remastered print of the film. There will be a spooky-themed audience costume contest for this one-night-only special screening on Friday, November 2 at 7:30 pm in the Sosnoff Theater. Tickets start at $25 and are available at, or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.

Film critic Roger Ebert has described this iconic movie—said to be the first example of German Expressionism in cinema—as “the first true horror film” which presaged the rise of Nazism; “a film of delusions and deceptive appearances, about madmen and murder.”
Composer and band leader Chris Washburne is “one of the best trombonists in New York City,” according to the New York Times. Washburne leads his Rags and Roots ensemble, featuring Evan Christopher, clarinet; Dominick Farinacci, trumpet; Leo Traversa, bass; Ben Rosenblum, piano; Jerry Clicquot, tap; and Charles Goold, percussion. Vocalist Brianna Thomas,  "the best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation" (Wall Street Journal), joins the ensemble.
Tickets start at $25 and are available at, or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.

Chris Washburne is one of those rare musicians whose musical activities cross many styles and cultural borders. From early in his career he refused to be pigeonholed as being just a jazz or classical player, but instead has continually pursued a diverse path. Chris is currently freelancing as a studio musician and performing trombone, bass trombone, tuba, didjeridu, and percussion with various classical, jazz, rock, and Latin groups in New York City. He also tours extensively and has concertized throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Washburne received his bachelor of music in classical trombone performance from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with William Richardson, Richard Davis, and Les Thimmeg. In 1988, he completed a master's degree in third stream studies from the New England Conservatory, where he studied with John Swallow, Ran Blake, and Bob Moses. He was the winner of the 1988 New England Conservatory Graduation Concerto Competition. He spent two months living in Zambia in 1985, studying the traditional music of that region, and in 1993 received a Mellon Fellowship to travel to and explore the rich musical traditions of Cuba.

In 1999 Washburne completed his PhD in ethnomusicology at Columbia University. He is currently associate professor of music and founding director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa. He is author of the book Sounding Salsa: Performing Latin Music in New York (2008) and editor of Bad Music (2004).

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This event was last updated on 10-26-2018