Damian Woetzel and Kris Bowers
Damian Woetzel and Kris Bowers
Juilliard Hosts Kris Bowers: The Last Repair Shop

(released 2/20/2024)

Juilliard brought back one of its alumnus on Sunday evening, but not just for music.  Kris Bowers attended a screening of his film The Last Repair Shop.

He talked with President of The Juilliard School Damian Woetzel after the screening and entertained a few questions and comments from the audience.  And what would a night at Juilliard be without music? So Kris gave a little more and performed a piece on piano.

The Last Repair Shop is a 40 minute film that was 4 years in the making. It gives a look inside an unassuming warehouse in Los Angeles.  But in that warehouse, there are a few people that provide the service of repairing musical instruments for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Going in, I thought it was going to be a dry documentary about the process of repairing instruments.  I still would have thought that was interesting, but in 40 minutes, it does much more.  It shows 4 workers that have emotional stories, joyful and sad (yet strong), about how they got there and why they do it.  It also shows us 4 students that need music in their life.  You hear the stories and you connect with their faces. They also blended the visual of instrument repair with their stories, so you see the labor of love.

The Last Repair Shop was co-directed by Bowers along with Ben Proudfoot.  He also composed the score along with Katya Richardson.  He also produced.  Bowers has composed for films such as When They See Us, A Concerto Is a Conversation, King Richard, Dear White People, Green Book, Origin, The Color Purple, and currently out Bob Marley: One Love.

The movie is being distributed by Searchlight Pictures and the Los Angeles Times. It has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). It is available for streaming on Disney+ and YouTube.

Here are videos of the Q&A and performance with Kris Bowers.

Q&A with Kris Bowers and Damian Woetzel

Kris Bowers performing on piano

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