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Apple Original Films Announces Documentary on Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong

Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrongan upcoming documentary film based on the legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong, will premiere on Apple Original Films.


The streaming platform issued a press release on Tuesday to make the announcement.

Directed by Emmy-nominated Sacha Jenkins (Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men) and produced by Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes, Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong will take a look at the musician’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star and a cultural ambassador of the USA.

According to the press release, although Armstrong was loved by millions worldwide, he was often mischaracterised for not doing enough to support the civil rights movement. He was often vocal about issues of segregation and patriotism and his celebrity status fuelled his fight for social justice. With support from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the filmmakers said that they accessed unseen archival materials, including hundreds of hours of audio recordings, film footage, photographs, personal diaries and a life’s worth of ephemera for exclusive use in what they claim to be the first significant documentary dedicated entirely to his life.

The streaming platform also said that the documentary feature tells Armstrong’s story entirely through the “revolutionary musician’s own words”.

Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong will be joining its executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries in its Academy Award-nominated feature film slate under Apple’s first-look agreement with the entertainment company. The documentary is also being produced in association with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment with Michele Anthony and David Blackman serving as executive producers.


The documentary is lined up following Apple and Imagine previous critically acclaimed documentary collaborations Dads for Apple Original Films from director Bryce Dallas Howard, the Emmy Award-winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 directed by Morgan Neville, and other award-winning documentaries and docu-series, including Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry (directed by award-winning filmmaker RJ Cutler), five-time Emmy Award-nominated Beastie Boys Story, Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Award-winning Boys State, and Emmy Award-nominated series Home along with the upcoming docuseries The Supermodels and Peanuts 70th Anniversary, Who Are You Charlie Brown?, a documentary from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain.