May 21, 2011
Playing with Parkinson's

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Parkinson's disease
has limited the way legendary jazz guitarist Sangeeta Michael Berardi plays, but not his desire to keep making music any way he can.

Now, 11 years after his diagnosis and no longer the technical virtuoso he once was, Sangeeta is going into a recording studio again, joining with musicians from his past to make one more CD.

Rather than hide from the deterioration brought on by Parkinson's (or "Mr. P", as Sangeeta calls it), his goal is to use the unavoidable shakes and tremors as part of his instrumentation.

"I'll bring my guitar, of course, but I'll also bring bowls and spoons, my pill containers in a bag, my compromised voice and almost anything that serves as an extension of Mr. P -- for he is as much presence in this recording as the other musicians."

The recording, and the process leading up to it, is being filmed by award winning documentary filmmaker Burrill Crohn for a new documentary, Playing with Parkinson's.

Along the way, we learn about Sangeeta, not only as a musician, but as a writer, poet, painter, philosopher, meditator (the name Sangeeta means "Divine Song") and, once -- in 1958 -- bank robber (the idea was to get enough money to make music).

This is a film about music and Parkinson's, but it is also a film about the human spirit, transcendence, and the everyday heroes that walk among us.

I've not yet met Sangeeta, but I've known Burrill Crohn for more than a decade and have nothing but admiration for him and his extraordinary gifts as a filmmaker.

To learn more about the film and how you can help Burrill and Sangeeta complete it, please click here.

More info here.

Illustration

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 21, 2011 10:07 PM

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