Treasures from the Yale Film Archive: Willie Ruff Online Screening & Filmmaker Conversation

photograph of filmmaker Willie Ruff
May 22, 2020

Our final in-person Treasures from the Yale Film Archive event of the spring was an evening of film and conversation with musician and filmmaker Willie Ruff '53 B.M., '54 M.M.A. In case you missed it—or want to hear more—we're pleased to present another in-depth conversation with Ruff, along with the online debut of his 1981 documentary The Beginning of Bebop.

The Beginnings of Bebop takes us on a guided tour of significant locations in the history of jazz. Led by legendary trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, Ruff and his musical partner Dwike Mitchell visit Minton's Playhouse, Carnegie Hall, the former site of the Savoy Ballroom, and even Miles Davis's home for an impromptu stop.

Watch the Filmmaker Conversation (53 mins)

Watch The Beginnings of Bebop (26 mins)

Read the Film Notes

Both videos are presented with optional closed captioning, and both are available for viewing through the end of June, 2020. The Beginnings of Bebop was preserved from the original 16mm picture and track elements by the Yale Film Study Center in 2019.

What is Treasures from the Yale Film Archive?
Treasures from the Yale Film Archive is an ongoing series of classic and contemporary films in 35mm curated by the Yale Film Study Center and screened at the Whitney Humanities Center.