Benny Goodman is one of many big band leaders featured in Big Band Treaures

Partnership with Twin Cities Public Television

Normandale Community College and Twin Cities Public Television in Saint Paul have partnered with the Bob DeFlores Film Archive to produce 30-minute programs for broadcast on the TPT Minnesota Channel. Film clips for these programs are chosen for their academic value as well as their wide variety of entertaining performances. Limited copies are available with a contribution to the DeFlores Film Project. Contact the project manager for information.

Big Band Treasures

Big Band Treasures, a co-production between Normandale Community College and Twin Cities Public Television, is in the broadcast rotation on TPT channel 17 (Minneapolis Comcast 13) and on the statewide digital MN Channel. The program is also in TPT's Video Vault and can be accessed at no charge from your computer.

Big Band Treasures draws from the extensive collection of musical Soundies and short films in Normandale's DeFlores Film Collection. The program showcases some famous big-band royalty (Count Basie, Duke Ellington) but also contains footage of such less-remembered band leaders as Tommy Christian, Rita Rio, Vincent Lopez, and Johnny Long.

Bruce Henry, jazz vocalist and educator, introduces the TPT program. He was filmed at the Dakota Jazz Club, where he performs regularly.

Sponsorship for the program was provided by Dr. Mark Migliori, who practices plastic and reconstructive surgery, plays drums, and appreciates jazz, blues, and rock and roll.

Future Productions

Possible topics include:

Instrumental Women will focus on the "all-girl" orchestras introduced to us in Big Band Treasures.

Big River Rhythms will explore the spread of jazz from New Orleans throughout the Mississippi River Basin and how the music changed in such cities as Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago. It will also explore the influence on Minneapolis and St. Paul musicians.

Soundies: Lost Treasures would introduce an old format of music videos to a new audience. Soundies are three-minute 16mm-films that were played on self-contained, coin-operated projection machines called Panorams. The machines appeared in thousands of restaurants, hotel lobbies, bus stations, and train depots across the country during the early 1940s. The films featured popular and influential entertainers, musicians, dancers, jugglers, and other stage acts. This program could explore the phenomenon of this personal visual jukebox and show several clips of both famous and forgotten performers.


Sponsorships are available for these and other Normandale television productions. Sponsorship includes all field and post production by TPT; fees for script writers, hosts, and narrators; and related expenses. Sponsorship credit will remain with the program when it is used for educational purposes in classrooms. Contact for more information or go to our Support the Project page.