An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
American Masters Previous Broadcasts
Cachao: Uno Mas (Episode #2304)
KQED Life: Sun, Sep 29, 2013 -- 10:00 PM
The Grammy winning bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez died in Coral Gables, Florida, in March 2008, at almost 90 years of age. A maestro of legendary status on the world stage and ultimately considered one of the greatest Afro-Cuban musicians of all time, he had made his home in the United States for the past four decades. However, he continued playing the Havana clubs and dance halls with his brother Orestes. Together, they revolutionized the heart of Cuban music -- their spontaneous improvisations and innovations established the basis of, and the influence of, contemporary Latin jazz and salsa, rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues. The basis of this film is a sold-out 2005 concert at Bimbo's 365 Club, a famous San Francisco nightclub. Cachaos's life and work are palpable. "Cachao: Uno Mas" is produced and narrated by actor Andy Garcia, a friend and ardent fan, who helped reinvigorate Cachao's career in the 1990s -- and who appears in this film playing the bongos.
- KQED Life: Mon, Sep 30, 2013 -- 4:00 AM
Billie Jean King (Episode #2604H)
KQED 9: Tue, Sep 10, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
The first sports figure ever featured by American Masters, this was a very deliberate choice about a very deliberate woman who has, indeed, been a major force in changing, and democratizing, our cultural landscape. To commemorate the 40th anniversaries of both the infamous Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs tennis match - the Battle of the Sexes - and the launch of the Women's Tennis Association, this film looks back to the 12-year old southern California girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and unfairness and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy the situation.
Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her egalitarian efforts on behalf of women and her commitment to prove consistently that in diversity there is strength - ultimately being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama. King presents her own story with perspective added by Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Gloria Steinem, Elton John and Bobby Riggs' son.
- KQED World: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 -- 5:00 AM
- KQED Life: Thu, Sep 12, 2013 -- 1:00 AM
- KQED Life: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 -- 7:00 PM
- KQED 9: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 -- 2:00 AM
Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound (Episode #2206H)
KQED Life: Sun, Sep 8, 2013 -- 8:00 PM
Told from her perspective, and supported by a rich performance and historical archive, the centerpiece of this film is Baez' many years as a musician, her power as an artist, those who influenced her and those she influenced. From her earliest recordings, Baez introduced ever wider audiences to the songs of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Johnny Cash and, of course, Bob Dylan -- before she began writing her own music. Follow Baez through her story, to see her as she sees herself: human being -- first, pacifist -- second, and folk-singer -- third.
- KQED Life: Mon, Sep 9, 2013 -- 2:00 AM