Toni Jannotta discusses her jazz-inspired, storytelling documentary, Voices of the Homeless. The discussion is highlighted with a trailer from her film.

Voices of the Homeless was a live concert Toni created and produced, held at the WAV complex (Working Artists Ventura) in Ventura, California. The event took place in August of 2010, where members of the homeless community told their own stories, in their own words, backed by the music of jazz improvisers.

One aspect of the film’s message is that there is more to the homeless issue than what many people are aware of and that there’s more to jazz than a standard tune. A point worth emphasizing is that not all of the homeless are the same: they are individuals who have varied circumstances behind their homeless experience, whether they may be homeless temporarily or longer-term.

She speaks of mustering up the initial courage it took for her to begin the process of organizing and producing the concert, as well as the documentary itself, which includes interviews of homeless persons, as well as jazz musicians and audience members.

Toni expresses how she was changed from a jazz singer who was originally looking for a way to use her art to forward a social cause and make some money at the same time, to that of a homeless advocate.


Director: Petrina Sharp


Insights Behind Voices of the Homeless, a Documentary Film by Toni Jannotta
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