The Purchase College jazz studies program will present a screening of the award-winning documentary film More to Live For in the Music Building Recital Hall on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. The event synthesizes two hallmarks of Purchase—performing arts and community activism—by also featuring a bone marrow donor registry drive.
The film screening will take place at 7 pm, followed by a Q&A with producer Susan Brecker. Purchase jazz musicians will perform before and after the film.
From 4:30 to 9 pm, attendees may sign up for the International Bone Marrow registry. This is a simple process that involves filling out a form and taking a mouth swab. The result can be a match that will save someone’s life.
“The core of the movie and the donor movement lies in an essential truth. One individual truly can make a difference,” says Susan Brecker, co-producer (with James Chippendale) of the film.
Her husband, the world-famous jazz saxophonist Michael Brecker, tragically died of Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, formerly known as preleukemia) when he was unable to find a donor match. This inspired Susan to make the film and to educate people about bone marrow donation—which is a far less invasive process than most people think.
More to Live For tells the story of three men who are united by the common need for a bone marrow donor. While showing their struggle for survival, the film demonstrates how easily people can give this precious gift of life by registering and possibly becoming a donor.
As part of the close-knit jazz community, Michael Brecker knew many of the teachers in the jazz studies program here, including its director, Pete Malinverni, assistant professor of music.
“Michael Brecker was legendary in the jazz world—the gold standard for saxophone players and a 15-time Grammy winner,” says Malinverni. “We are thrilled to show this film and encourage people to register for the donor bank—truly a fitting testimony to Michael’s generous spirit.”
Susan Brecker has shown the film at more than 25 jazz and music festivals and colleges and has registered thousands of donors at these events. “The more people who are in the donor bank, the more likely it is that matches can be made,” she notes. “In a sense, it is an insurance policy for everyone, worldwide.”
Brecker played on more than 700 albums and worked with James Taylor, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Charles Mingus, Chet Backer, Quincy Jones, and many others.
Malinverni concludes, “This event epitomizes the Purchase College tradition of using artistic expression to raise awareness about important issues and encourage social activism. It gives ordinary people the opportunity to be heroes—perhaps saving a life through the simple act of getting tested and becoming part of the donor community.”
This event at Purchase College is open to the public and free of charge.