Sonny Clark and the Japanese Kissa

Sonny Clark, ca. 1961. Photograph by Francis Wolff. (c) Mosaic Images (

At CAM Raleigh’s kissa night this Monday, June 15, I’ll be playing the swinging blues of the great jazz pianist Sonny Clark, tracks featuring him as a leader and sideman, 1955-1962.  It’s Week 2 of an exciting collaboration between CAM Raleigh and Rock Fish Stew that will extend through the end of the year. Something […]

Big Ears & Joseph Mitchell Mixing in Downtown Durham

Jane Holding and Allan Gurganus

At Rock Fish Stew, there’s nothing we like more than blending elements of our projects, hence our name.  Last month, when we saw that guitarist and composer, Steve Gunn, who is part of our Big Ears documentary project, was playing a show in downtown Durham, we couldn’t resist the opportunity.  We invited him to take […]

RFS Seeks Summer Interns


RFS seeks two self-starting interns for summer 2015. Interns will help support current documentary projects, help manage the website and social media, contribute ideas and material, research and help write grants, transcribe interviews, and participate in fundraising. An interest in literature, film, and/or other creative endeavors is a plus. Video, photography, film editing, web design, creative research and […]

Mary Oliver, Molly Malone Cook, and Real Attention


Last Thursday I made a routine stop in downtown Durham’s Letters Bookshop, five doors down from Rock Fish Stew offices, and I noticed a slim, paperback volume of photographs by Molly Malone Cook with text by Mary Oliver, a book called Our World (Beacon Press, 2007).  Oliver’s name drew me, a long admirer of her observations.  Flipping […]

The Big Ears Doc: One Year Later

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.05.31 AM

It’s hard for us to believe it’s a year since we first met Ashley Capps. We reached out to him because an article in the New York Times indicated that the adventurous Big Ears music festival, which Capps founded and runs through his company AC Entertainment, was returning after a three year hiatus. One reason […]

A Seasonal Helping of Rockfish Stew

An extraordinary pot of Rockfish stew.

Last night, Rock Fish Stew Institute of Literature and Materials held its second annual tasting of rockfish stew at our offices in downtown Durham. Chef Ricky Moore, owner of Durham’s Saltbox Seafood Joint, took honors again this year, making a stupendous stew with a rockfish (aka striped bass) caught the day before in the Pamlico […]

Pilgrimage to Lexington


Last month we wrote about our experience at the Cy Twombly exhibition, currently on view at the Morgan Library in New York City, documenting a concert by the JACK Quartet. The music, by composer Matthias Pintscher, was inspired by Twombly’s “Treatise on the Veil”. There are two versions of this painting; No. 2, stretching 33 feet, hung […]

Cy Twombly and the JACK at the Morgan

The JACK Quartet in front of Twombly's "Treatise on the Veil."

Yesterday was one of those days that made us feel lucky to be documentarians.  Rock Fish Stew spent twelve hours at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City.  The occasion was the renowned JACK Quartet playing music composed a decade ago by Matthias Pintscher inspired by Cy Twombly’s epic, 33-foot painting, “Treatise on […]

The Peaches of New York: Notes on Two Documentaries

The Peaches of New York by U.P Hedrick.  1917.  541 pages.  9x12 inches in size. Photo by Ivan Weiss

Recently we had the opportunity to spend eight days in New York City, where we made considerable headway on two Rock Fish Stew documentaries – BIG EARS and The Joseph Mitchell Project. Helping us on parts of this trip were the photographer Kate Joyce, a longtime RFS collaborator; Hiroshi Watanabe, a photographer and collaborator on Bull City Summer; and Ligaiya Romero, a New York-based […]

Bull City Summer Doc Film Featured in Two Film Festivals

Leaving Traces, the documentary film based on Bull City Summer by Ivan Weiss and Rock Fish Stew Institute of Literature and Materials, will be featured in two exclusive and very different film festivals this coming weekend. *Saturday September 20, available online on demand, Leaving Traces, will be screened as part of the On Photography Film Festival, which is part of FOTOWEEK in Holland.  This […]