Jazz is a timeless form of musical expression, so it is fitting that film-makers Linda Chirrey and Marc Mason decided to use that timeless media, animation, to immortalise the memory of jazz guitar master Ken Sykora.
Although Ken Sykora played at some legendary venues in the UK in the 1950′s, there is no actual film of his performances. That is where Linda Chirrey and Marc Mason fit in. They created The Man With The Jazz Guitar – a documentary about a talented but modest musician which makes up for a lack of performance footage with some engagingly quirky retro animation. As in life, the animation of Ken Sykora shows how he loved to play guitar, how he would play in a jazz ensemble at his local pub after a hard days work broadcasting jazz shows on the BBC’s Radio 2.
Linda and Marc decided to use Toon Boom Animation, because in Linda’s words ”[it is]…a brilliant software that uses traditional 2D theory”. The entire project took almost four years to complete and involved sorting through boxes of ”…papers, newspaper and magazine cuttings, listening to the recordings, talking to people and just getting a feel for the man.” The final result is as Linda says, “…the film has a wonderful scrapbook feel”.
The Man With The Jazz Guitar plays at Ipswich Film Theatre on May 30 and 31.