American Masters pays tribute to pioneering jazz legend Cab Calloway during Black History Month with the new music documentary “Cab Calloway: Sketches” premiering nationally Monday, February 27 from 10-11pm on PBS. In the New York metro-area, the film airs Sunday, February 26 at 8 p.m. on Thirteen.
A singer, dancer, bandleader, and consummate showman, Cab led one of the most popular African American big bands during the jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s with Harlem’s famous Cotton Club as his home stage. Best known for his signature song “Minnie the Moocher,” his portrayal of Sportin’ Life in the 1952 touring production of Porgy and Bess, and role in The Blues Brothers (1980), Cab influenced countless musicians, dancers and performers, including Michael and Janet Jackson, Matthew Rushing (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Uptown) and many of today’s hip-hop artists. “I am especially delighted to bring Cab Calloway to younger audiences — and he does become quite alive through the inventive animation in this film,” says Susan Lacy, American Masters series creator and executive producer. “Cab Calloway: Sketches” is a co-production of Artline Films, ARTE France, and AVRO, in association with Inscape Productions and Thirteen’s American Masters for WNET. More information: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/cab-calloway-sketches/about-the-documentary/1958/