Back in his days as a communication and film student, Jake Meginsky ’01 saw Milford Graves perform at UMass Amherst’s Fine Arts Center and was intrigued. A percussionist who has graced the bolder fringes of the jazz world since the 1970s, Graves is as much a life force as a musician and is immensely charismatic. He is renowned for his grasp of music’s spiritual dimension and his fearlessly independent approach to seeking essences and cosmic connections. After graduation, Meginsky became Graves’s protégé and spent 10 years talking to and filming him. Their relationship has resulted in the film Milford Graves Full Mantis, an intimate, category-defying look into the man’s mind and creative process. It boasts deep UMass roots—Meginsky worked alongside coproducers George Myers and Gabriel Chicoine ’10 and cameraman Marcus DeMaio ’01—and has garnered superlative reviews, received the Independent Vision Award at the Sarasota Film Festival (the first documentary ever so honored), and been named Best Documentary Feature at the Oak Cliff Film Festival in Dallas.
> John Sippel
#UMASSproud to be:
UMass Amherst's rank among national public universities.
—Best Colleges 2019, U.S. News & World Report. (There are more than 700 four-year, public universities and colleges in the U.S.)
For best campus food.
—Princeton Review (3rd Consecutive Year)
For accomplishments in sustainability in higher education.
—Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students.
—Campus Pride (8th Consecutive Year)