The New York Times referred to Dorthaan Kirk as Newark’s First Lady of Jazz. In 2020, she won the NEA Jazz Masters Award for Advocacy. Dorthaan was married to legendary jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Kirk, but when he died a the age of 42, she embarked on a long career promoting the music and the musicians who play jazz. NJPAC’s John Schreiber, WBGO_FM founder Bob Ottenhoff, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and bassist Buster Williams are interviewed in this touching profile.
Eric Schultz produced and directed the feature for State of the Arts. Joe Conlon served as director of photography and Dan Gordon narrates.