After many, many years in production, the musical film Bolden is finally making its way to theaters with the release of a poster and trailer from Abramorama.
Directed by Dan Pritzker from a script written by Pritzker and David N. Rothschild, the film stars Gary Carr, Erik LaRay Harvey, Yaya DaCosta, Reno Wilson, Karimah Westbrook, JoNell Kennedy, Robert Ri’chard, Serena Reeder with Michael Rooker and Ian McShane.
The music was written, arranged & performed by multiple Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis. Jon Cornick and Michele Tayler are producing with Leonard Loventhal, Ed Arrendrell and Marsalis exec producing.
Downtown Abbey’s Gary Carr stars in the lead role. Pritzker completed the first round of filming in 2010 and finally finished the film. Because of the long production hiatus, the title role of Bolden was recast with Carr replacing Anthony Mackie, whose schedule could not accommodate the new shooting schedule at that time.
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.
McShane will portray Bolden’s nemesis the politician Judge Perry, with Erik LaRay Harvey (“Luke Cage”) 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.
There are only a few historical facts about Buddy Bolden:
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
The birth of jazz was the birth of American popular culture from Louis Armstrong to Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Fugees and Dr. Dre., Bolden is where it all began.
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.
Bolden hits theaters on May 3rd.