Chet Baker lovers have yet another reason to come to this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival.
Launched at TIFF last year, Robert Budreau’s film Born to be Blue examines the life of trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker. Actor Ethan Hawke plays the acclaimed musician with a lifelong struggle with addiction.
Known as the ‘James Dean of jazz’, the film begins in the late 1960s with Baker playing himself in a movie about his life. Following a drug-related assault, Baker’s teeth are knocked out, making him unable to play the trumpet. Forced to relearn to play and get clean, the audience watches Ethan Hawke dive into the world of Baker, losing everything and having to gain it all back.
The film soundtrack was written and produced by pianist David Braid, with an accomplished Canadian studio band: Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Steve Wallace (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums). University of Toronto’s Kevin Turcotte plays lead trumpet in the film, playing for Hawke and for both the Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis characters.
The Born to be Blue studio band will join the TD Toronto Jazz Festival on July 1, 2016 at the Jazz Bistro. The film highlights standards made famous by Baker, including “Over the Rainbow”, “My Funny Valentine” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, among others.
Born to be Blue is currently showing at the Mount Pleasant Theatre. The trailer can be found below.