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The Ballad of Joe Pass

The Ballad of Joe Pass tells the fictional story of real life guitarist Joe as he plays his first gig to a largely African-American audience in Harlem’s “Lennox Lounge” circa 1947. Modeled after the vibrant palettes of Harlem Renaissance artists like Jacob Lawrence; this piece is a short commentary about race, premeditated bias, and how music bridges the divide of both.

  • Jordan Hendrickson
  • Jordan Hendrickson
  • Daryl Sledge
    The producer of the SAATCHI & SAATCHI Achievement in Film Award winning documentary, THAT DAUGHTER’S CRAZY. Sledge also produced the HBO Best Short Film, 2nd Life, and has worked on over 75 film and TV projects.
  • Alex Sadie
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 6, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jordan Hendrickson

Jordan Hendrickson is an award wining filmmaker, artist, teacher, and world-traveler from New York City currently studying in Budapest, Hungary. His film "The Giving Tree" has been nominated at eleven international film festivals, including Istanbul's KisaKes Short Film Festival where it took home Audience Choice Award. Jordan has spent several years running the Art department at the not-for-profit The Aloha Foundation, where he works with children ages 8 to 14 to turn their artistic aspirations into reality.

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Director Statement

I chose to direct this film after hearing the historic Lennox Lounge was being torn down. In the decades it stood in Harlem it hosted hundreds of musicians of all genders and creeds. It also made me think of my favorite guitarist Joe Pass, who played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, and I imagined what it might have been like his first time walking in, like the newcomer walking into a saloon in the Old West. Animation was the perfect medium to visually represent the clashing of culture but the shared love and respect for jazz.