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The Case of the Three-Sided Dream

The story of multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk who went from blind infant, to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. A seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died.

“The nose knows” is one of the pithy sayings of flamboyant jazz wunderkind Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977). During long improvisations, Rahsaan – the name came to him in a dream – sometimes played three wind instruments at the same time, including with his nose. He was blinded by eye drops shortly after he was born, although he preferred to refer to himself as “a man that doesn’t see too well.” But he was blessed with a silver tongue; a fellow musician noted that, when onstage, Rahsaan liked to talk to the audience, more so than the other masters of jazz – a genre Rahsaan referred to as “black classical music.” The life story of this exceptional man is told by members of Rahsaan’s entourage, including colleagues, his widow and his son.