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The documentary film Steve White: Painting The World With Music will debut tonight, August 14, at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas, screening at 9:00pm.

The film spotlights local musician Steve White, who passed away in April. The singer-songwriter was uniquely talented musician and humanitarian who was awarded one of the thousand points of light by both Presidents Bush and Clinton. White volunteered his time and love to help others who needed it for over 20 years. Whether it was playing in nursing homes or to schools and childrens centers he played and entertained to bring joy into others lives. And he did it with no fanfare.

The film was produced and directed by Clint Burkett along with photographers and filmmakers like Pierpaolo Adda in Italy, Milos Zajdl in Czechoslovakia, Erik Swanson, Tom Zizzi, Craig Burkett, Glenn Goodwinn in the U.S. White packed concert halls in Germany, Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands and all over Europe. And he was loved in Asia where he spent his youth.

"If you knew him," says Burkett, "you loved him and his music and art touched your heart and soul. His body of work is phenomenal and each song or painting is special in its own way. This documentary is intended to move you through his poetic and rhythmic music and verse, just as he moved the hearts and minds of everyone who ever knew him, heard his music, or got to see his uniquely wondrous sketches and art."

White was a world class touring musician who spent much of his life on the road, singing and playing guitar and harmonica, often as a one-man band. In 2009, due to cancer, he lost his vocal chords and was no longer able to sing or play harmonica.

“The treatments are completed, and my taste buds are returning, so I’m happy chappy,” wrote White in a February 13, 2010 email, five months after doctors removed his vocal chords to fight the cancer in his esophagus. As White underwent radiation and chemotherapy treatments, he strummed blues riffs on his guitar and watched the stack of medical bills inside his Leucadia home grow.

To help raise money for White’s mounting medical debt, local blues musicians Steve Mendoza, Shawn Rolfe, and Candye Kane joined efforts and appeared at benefit concerts for White, one at the Encinitas Public Library in December 2009 and another at Old Time Music in North Park a month later.

“I had a chance to perform,” wrote White in his email. “It was cathartic because I was unsure whether I could do it without my voice and harmonica, or that it would work, and I was most happy to find out it did.”

White’s influence and support stretched farther than San Diego County. Benefits for White have been held in Italy, Germany, and in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

“I am humbled by this response, and it has kept my spirits up and kept me alive,” wrote White about the benefit shows.

White passed away on April 22, 2011, at the age of 61.

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Tickets for tonight's La Paloma screening are free but must be reserved at http://www.stevewhite.eventwax.com . More information can be found online at href="http://www.stevewhiteblues">http://www.stevewhiteblues​.com .

You can view the trailer for

Steve White: Painting The World With Music from clint burkett on Vimeo.

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