(4 July 1928 – 25 April 2003)
First part of the short movie “Jazz & Poetry” by Louis van Gasteren.
Piet Kuiters Modern Jazzgroup featuring Piet Kuiters on piano, Herman Schoonderwalt – sax, Ruud Jacobs – bass, Cees See – drums. Poetry by Ted Joans.
Wow! Ted Joans Lives! is a visual and aural collage by Kurt Hemmer and Tom Knoff examining the life and works of the legendary, tri-continental poet Ted Joans, who was born in Cairo, Illinois on 4 July 1928 and went on to become one of the significant poets of his generation performing his work in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Joans performed at Harper College on 17 September 2002, and this film uses footage of that performance combined with material that reflects his entire career up to his death on 25 April 2003. Joans believed that surrealism helped him deal with the pains of racism. He started his artistic endeavors as a painter and collagist, and some rare examples of his work are presented here along with the poems he blew with the encouragement of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Langston Hughes. Images of Joans’s heroes, like Charlie Parker and André Breton (who said that Joans was the only African-American surrealist he had ever met), are accompanied with the poems Joans dedicated to them. The film has the sound of jazz and the flavor of surrealism. As Ted Joans declared, “Jazz is my religion and Surrealism is my point of view.”