Great Performances

Paul Simon's Graceland Journey: Under African Skie

Series Website »
Episode Guide »
Unbelievably enough, Paul Simon's Graceland album is now a quarter-century old. Ordinarily, if it was remembered solely for the songs it brought into the world, that would be enough for most pop records. But it was also a musical triumph, an experiment in cross-cultural collaboration that also proved to be commercially popular, selling 14 million albums worldwide and generating three Top 40 singles, winning Grammys for both "Album of the Year" and "Song of the Year" for its title track. It still receives universal acclaim and is regarded today as one of the most significant recordings of its time. That says a lot about the record, but doesn't tell the whole story. Much of the world of 1986 has changed, and key elements of Graceland's history have receded into the fog of time. Why was it initially so controversial and why did Simon face such vehement criticism at the time? In 2011, acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger accompanied Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in the original album, capturing Simon's unique homecoming journey as he reflects on the landmark events as well as looks to the future.


  • Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do
  • Dudamel Conducts LA Phil in John Williams Celebration - Full
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Boston Symphony Orchestra: Andris Nelsons' Concert
  • Mark Morris Dance Group: L'Allegro - Full Program
  • La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema - Full Program
  • American Voices with Renée Fleming
  • Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!
  • Star-Spangled Spectacular
  • Rejoice with Itzhak Perlman & Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot
  • Dudamel Conducts Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl - Full
  • Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
  • Sting: The Last Ship
  • Barrymore
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!"
  • San Francisco Opera's Moby Dick
  • Great Performances 40th Anniversary Celebration
  • Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company in Paris
  • Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy
  • Magical Mystery Tour Revisited
  • Twilight: Los Angeles
  • LA Phil performs An American in Paris
  • Macbeth


Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "Great Performances" here.

Vermont PBS educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be lifelong learners and engaged in their community.

Sign up for the Vermont PBS Weekly

Our weekly email newsletter highlighting upcoming shows and important station news. Sign up today!

Check out our Vermont PBS Wish List

The Wish List is where we display things our station needs. If you enjoy tangible giving, you might consider funding an item – individually or with a group. Click for more info 

Downton Abbey, Season 6 Free Preview Screenings

Vermont PBS is hosting five FREE sneak previews of the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season 6, at locations around the state.

Eat healthy with Daniel Tiger!

Click and print these fun pages (pdf) to help motivate your kids to eat healthy! Brought to you locally by City Market.


Vermont PBS donors talk about why they love and support us!

Vermont PBS PLUS!

Learn about our second HD broadcast service offering alternative programming and more content from local and regional producers.

Vermont PBS Travels on Tumblr

Follow us on Tumblr for fun photos and stories from our crew as they travel outside the station for various events and filiming on location!

Lifelong Learning

Upcoming and featured!

People talk about Vermont PBS!

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2015 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn