Release Date: 5/3/19
Running Time: 108 mins.
Studio: King Bolden
Director: Dan Pritzker
Cast: Gary Carr (Buddy Bolden), Erik LaRay Harvey (Bartley), Yaya DaCosta (Nora Bolden), Reno Wilson (Louis Armstrong), Karimah Westbrook (Alice Bolden), JoNell Kennedy (Ida Bass), Robert Ri’chard (George Baquet), Serena Reeder (Mavis), Michael Rooker (Pat McMurphy), Ian McShane (Judge Perry).
Story: The film is set in 1931 New Orleans, when Buddy Bolden, a long-time asylum inmate, hears the strains of a Louis Armstrong concert drift into his room from the radio in a nearby nurse’s station. The sound evokes memories of his long-forgotten youth as a ground-breaking cornetist, when he played and improvised his way to the forefront of a new musical style, ultimately creating what would evolve decades later into jazz.
Ian McShane will portray Bolden’s nemesis the politician Judge Perry, with Erik LaRay Harvey as Bolden’s manager Bartley, Yaya DaCosta as wife Nora Bolden, Michael Rooker as Perry’s enforcer Pat McMurphy, and Reno Wilson as Louis Armstrong.
Cornet player Charles “Buddy” Bolden was born on September 6, 1877. At the age of 30, he was committed to an asylum where he died in 1931. The only recording he made was never found. He invented Jazz. BOLDEN reimagines the compelling, powerful and tragic journey of an unsung American hero and the social context in which his revolutionary music was conceived. Weaving together fragmented memories of his past, BOLDEN invites you to experience a world fueled by passion, greed and musical genius, in early 1900s New Orleans. Source: Blackfilm.com.
Details: On November 14, 2014, NOLA.com reported, Bolden, director Dan Pritzker’s long-gestating biopic on jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden — the so-called “first cornet king of New Orleans” — is coming home to the city in which Bolden made his name. After filming in Atlanta and North Carolina, the production is packing its bags for the Crescent City. Pritzker’s self-financed passion project first went before cameras in 2007 and then underwent a first round of reshoots in 2009. This latest round is expected to see Pritzker reshoot approximately half of his film.
Part of the reason for the extensive reshoots is because actor Anthony Mackie, who portrayed Bolden in the first two shoots, was unavailable for this latest round of shooting. He is being replaced in the cast by actor Gary Carr. Other cast members include Ian McShane, who will take over for Jackie Earle Haley in the role of Bolden nemesis Judge Perry; and Nelsan Ellis, who will play Bolden’s band manager. Jazzman Wynton Marsalis composed the film’s score.
The talented but troubled Buddy Bolden is among the more colorful characters in New Orleans’ jazz history. A huge draw in his hometown of New Orleans in the early 1900’s, his “Funky Butt (Buddy Bolden’s Blues)” is among his more celebrated numbers, one widely covered by other musicians. Tragically, Bolden’s career — and his life — was cut short by a struggle with mental illness. By the time he was 30, he was institutionalized at the Louisiana State Insane Asylum, where he lived for the remainder of his life. He died at 54 years old of what is described as alcohol-related psychosis and was buried in a pauper’s cemetery in New Orleans.
His musical influence, however, long outlasted him. No known recordings of his work exist, and facts about his life have become intermingled with myth. Still, with his improvisation-heavy blend of ragtime and blues — which he performed with his Bolden Band under the name King Bolden — he is widely recognized as an originator of the musical form that would become jazz.
Source(s): NOLA.com (adapted); Movie Insider; IMDB. Photo Credit: NOLA.com.