My first interview with Benny Powell was at his apartment on 55th street. We had just met the week before when he had hired me to document a concert he was putting on at the New School where he taught an ensemble workshop. It was the first time I heard his original music and saw his easy going stage presence. I decided halfway through the concert I wanted to get to know him better and that I should interview him to supplement the concert footage. The interview and concert shoot resulted in a short we called Benny Powell Meets Count Basie.

During the interview we spoke about a lot of things and we connected as kindred spirits. We continued our talks on and off camera for 7 years. We had plans to make a more ambitious film about him. Other projects kept popping up and he would always tell me to work on them first. “We’ve got time, I’ll be here when you’re done with that” whatever that was.
This clip was one of my favorites.