On a new episode of the Film at Lincoln Center podcast, we’re excited to present a Q&A from the AppleTV+ documentary, Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues, with director Sacha Jenkins and Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard.
This event recently took place as part of See Me As I Am, Lincoln Center’s year-long celebration of Terence Blanchard in collaboration with seven arts organizations across campus: Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
A magisterial tribute to a founding father of jazz, Sacha Jenkins’s comprehensive documentary chronicles the life and times of legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong, from his role in the birth of the musical genre he’d come to epitomize on to his later adventures in Hollywood as an indelible onscreen presence.
Working from a wealth of archival footage, Jenkins constructs a stirring ode to Armstrong that historically situates his achievements and public image, deftly tracing how the cultural figure cut by Armstrong was formulated against a backdrop of unapologetic, systemic racism. And, appropriately, the film is scored by none other than Terence Blanchard, himself a latter-day titan of the trumpet, and the result is an utterly absorbing and moving homage to a true icon of American music.
Enjoy the conversation with Jenkins and Blanchard, moderated by writer Larry Blumenfeld.