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Aaron Zigman announces Spring 2006 slate
28-Mar-2006 - With three films due out in spring and several to be released throughout the year, Aaron Zigman is proving to be one of the busiest composers in Hollywood. His spring slate includes Warner Bros.' ATL, New Line's Take the Lead and Lions Gate's Akeelah and the Bee. Each score is distinct in its theme, purpose and instrumentation.

On March 31, Warner Bros. will release ATL, the story of four teens coming of age in a working class Atlanta neighborhood. Hip-hop music and roller skating unify the group as they make tough life choices. Starring rapper TI and directed by music video director Chris Robinson, the film is loosely based on the life experiences of TLC's Tionne Watkins and hip-hop superproducer Dallas Austin. An urban score with beats and a Southern spiritual quality to the orchestra, the score fuses blues, electronic elements and pad imaging.

New Line releases Take the Lead, starring Antonio Banderas and Alfre Woodard, on April 7. Based on a true story, the film revolves around a professional dancer who volunteers to teach in a New York City public school. His classic method clashes with his students' hip hop instincts, but he becomes their mentor when he helps them form a style of dance that incorporates ballroom style with street moves. Co-scored with hip hop producer and performer Swizz Beats, this hip hop score is mixed with tango and jazz to make it fresh, and features classical emotional moments.

On April 28, Lion's Gate will release Akeelah and the Bee starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. An inspirational drama told by writer/director Doug Atchison, the film tells the story of a precocious 11-year-old who defies her mother and enters several spelling contests. Tutored by her principal and some supportive adults in her community, she competes for a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. In a hybrid score, Zigman mixes traditional orchestration with melody and themes with electronic beats and organic dulcimer to create a variety of cues. Zigman also arranged strings for the song "Definition of Love," produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for the soundtrack.

Zigman made a name for himself producing and arranging for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Nona Gaye, the Pointer Sisters and Christina Aguilera. Known for his command of rhythm and different styles, he developed his knack for melody into his current scoring career. His foray into feature film composing began when director Nick Cassavetes, who was familiar with Zigman's pop background and his orchestral works, offered him the opportunity to score John Q, starring Denzel Washington. The two collaborated again shortly after on the critically-acclaimed romantic film The Notebook, starring Gena Rowlands and James Garner, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. Their most recent teaming, Sundance crowd pleaser Alpha Dog, will be released later this year.

Among his other upcoming film releases are The Wendell Baker Story, the directorial debut of Andrew Wilson and Luke Wilson, starring their brother Owen Wilson, Eva Mendes and Eddie Griffin, Flicka with Alison Lohman and Tim McGraw and 10th & Wolf with Giovanni Ribisi, James Marsden and Dennis Hopper.

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