Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L Journalism Professor Featured in Indianapolis Star Kevin Finch is nearing completion of his film documentary on celebrated jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.

kevin_finch-600x400 W&L Journalism Professor Featured in Indianapolis StarKevin Finch, associate professor of journalism and mass communications

Kevin Finch, associate professor of journalism and mass communications at Washington and Lee University, was recently featured in a front-page story by the Indianapolis Star regarding his ongoing film documentary titled “Wes Bound.”

The one-hour documentary chronicles the life and influence of jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery, who died of a heart attack in 1968 at the age of 45. Finch is nearing completion of the film, and it will debut on a PBS affiliate in Indianapolis in late February. It will also rerun March 6, which would have been Montgomery’s 100th birthday. The film will eventually be broadcast nationally via American Public Television.

Finch began the project in 2019. He, alongside Montgomery’s youngest son Robert, has collected more than 50 hours of interview footage with family members, frequent jazz collaborators, historians and major names in the rock and jazz industry. These include discussions with significant guitarists such as Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Russell Malone, Eric Johnson, George Benson and former Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.

“When I started looking for my next project, I couldn’t believe no one had produced a film documentary on Wes,” said Finch. “The man is often listed as the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. Jazz musicians are in awe of him. Rockers claim him as a major influence. Yet, no one had told his story. Therefore, I look at this as ending an injustice.”

Finch has created several films through his company Jukeboxer Productions, including a 2015 documentary about author Kurt Vonnegut and a 2018 film titled “Triton: America’s Deep Secret,” a Cold War submarine story. The Vonnegut documentary was screened at the Heartland International Film Festival in 2016 and both projects were screened on campus following their release.

“Wes Bound” is scheduled to be screened on the W&L campus in Stackhouse Theater on March 15 at 6 p.m., with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Music Department serving as co-sponsors.

If you know a W&L faculty member who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.