The Great Flood live, performed by (l-r) Tony Scherr, Bill Frisell, Kenny Wollesen, and Ron Miles. Courtesy Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

On its own, Bill Morrison's film-collage The Great Flood has the makings of a powerful silent movie. The filmmaker took archival black-and-white photos and newsreel of one of the worst floods America has ever known—the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927—and stiched them together into a story of destruction and displaced sharecroppers. Rains deluged the Mississippi River and its tributaries for over a year, and by the spring of 1927, the river had breached the levees in 145 different spots, from "Cairo to New Orleans," as the film notes. Roughly 27,000 square miles became swamps, ponds, lakes—with water to the tops of general stores and dogs perched on rooves. The images drum up not-too-distant memories of Hurricane Katrina, made that much more emotional with the help of live score.

Accompanying the stark imagery is a jazz suite composed by Seattle-based guitarist Bill Frisell—a mix of "howling blues chords, Thelonious Monk hooks, country-swing and Old Man River quotes" that's a fine concert in its own right, wrote The Guardian in its review during the 2012 London Jazz Festival. The soundtrack conjures the "great migration" of the Delta Blues up north, with plaintive trumpet following the refugees as they board trains with whatever worldly possessions remained. Frisell will perform the score at the Moore this weekend with his quartet—Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, and Ron Miles—and we have a pair of last-minute tickets to give away to the film-concert event.

To enter to win, email with “Flood” as the subject, and a reason why you want to see the show, by Friday, March 1, at 10am. The winner will be notified by email shortly after the deadline.

The Great Flood with Bill Frisell
Mar 2 at 8, Moore Theatre, $33

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