Jack Norton (filmmaker)
Jack Norton is an American filmmaker, television producer, musician, songwriter, and producer. He is the director of the 2015 film Jug Band Hokum. He is best known as the co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning preschool television show and brand, (The Zinghoppers). He co-directed and co-stars in the PBS show, "Totally, Zinghoppers!"
Norton is of Dutch and French descent. He grew up in a musical family. His babysitter was Tiny Tim, who gave Norton his first ukulele. Blues singer Leon Redbone taught Norton how to play guitar and authors Nick Tosches and Hubert Selby, Jr. were family friends.
After high school, Norton studied Early Childhood Education and his experience as a preschool teacher helped form the educational principals found in the Zinghoppers music. Norton's senior thesis (entitled, "The Childhood Dignity Movement"), helped form the Zinghoppers core goals of "educating, entertaining and engaging" young children. While in college, Norton's love of hip-hop culture and dance music led him to attend raves and underground rap house parties. Electro, hip-hop, Disney pop and dance music serves as the basis of Norton's musical influences.
The Nortons moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2009 to begin production of "Totally, Zinghoppers!", a series for public television.
In 2015 Norton announced his directorial debut with Jug Band Hokum, a documentary film that stars Brooklynd Turner and Anne Baggenstoss and follows the lives of band members competing in the Minneapolis Annual Battle of the Jug Bands. Guests appearing in the film include Garrison Keillor (of Prairie Home Companion fame), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and others.
In 2017 it was announced Norton's next film will be Wendigosis, a feature-length horror film.
- IMDb.com (29 January 2017). "Norton's Wendigosis In Production".
- King, Joe (8 December 2014). "MWMF To Preview Jack Norton Film Jug Band Hokum". Winona, Minnesota.
- Ebert, Roger (12 April 2011). "The Last Days of Tiny Tim". New York, New York.
- Shuster, Margaret (4 May 2008). "Accomplished musician brings new kids’ show to the world". The Herald Citizen, Cookeville, Tennessee.
- Mayes, Angie (15 November 2012). "Franklin's Zinghoppers makes kids, moms happy". "Franklin Life", Franklin, Tennessee.