After more than a decade of being in the works. BOLDEN, a film that explores the begins of jazz music and one of the genre’s creators, Buddy Bolden will be released in the theaters across the country on May 3.

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The musical drama is directed by Daniel Pritzker and features original music written, arranged and performed by Wynton Marsalis. The film stars Gary Carr as Bolden and co-stars Erik LaRay Harvey, Yaya DaCosta, Ian McShane, and Michael Rooker.

According to the description of the film BOLDEN, an upcoming drama directed by Dan Pritzker imagines the compelling, powerful and tragic journey of Buddy Bolden, the unsung American hero who invented Jazz. With little biographical information known and no found recordings of his music, the film’s narrative composes fragmented memories of his past, against the political and social context in which his revolutionary music was conceived.


The score by Marsalis includes vocalists Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, Don Vappie, and instrumentalists including Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, and others.

Charles Joseph “Buddy” Bolden cornetist who was regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a New Orleans style of ragtime music, or “jass”, which later came to be known as jazz.

According to JazzIz, While Bolden reached his peak in the late 1890s, the practice of recording was still in its infancy. Though his trombonist Willie Cornish recalled making a phonograph cylinder with the Bolden band, no known surviving copies of it exist. In addition, only a handful of photos of Bolden have survived to this day, most of which are in poor condition. BOLDEN will tell the story of a forgotten genius of Black music.

Check out the trailer of BOLDEN below.