A Concerto is a Conversation is a short documentary film in which jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year old grandfather Horace from Jim Crow Florida to Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall.

You can watch the film below in celebration of its nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Academy Awards® (to be held April 25). The short was co-directed by Kris Bowers and Breakwater Founder & CEO – Ben Proudfoot. It is also currently playing at over 120 movie theaters nationwide as part of the 2021 Oscar® Nominated Short Films theatrical release.

A Concerto is a Conversation is moving proof of the value of individual wit and of the progress we’ve made as a society. It’s also needed inspiration for the progress that still needs to happen.


Last week, on April 17, the façade of the Bowers & Son’s Cleaners was transformed back into how it appeared when Horace Bowers first opened its doors in 1950. Bowers & Son’s Cleaners has been a neighborhood institution in South Central Los Angeles for more than 70 years. The event was open to the community to recognize the impact of patriarch Horace Bowers, whose family continues to run the cleaners today.

Guests had a photo opportunity in front of the cleaners alongside classic cars and a curbside pianist. Renowned Angelino muralist Robert Vargas painted a mural of Horace Bowers live on the sidewalk. Co-directors Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers were on site to meet with neighbors and fans of the film.

Back to the original façade.

From left to right – Kris Bowers, Horace Bowers, and director Ben Proudfoot.

Artist Robert Vargas doing a painting of Mr. Bowers.

A young pianist performed throughout the event. At some point, Kris Bowers joined him.