Apple Original Films announced last week that it would fund a new Louis Armstrong documentary film titled “Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong.”
The documentary will detail Armstrong’s life and legacy as a founding father of jazz, the first pop star, and a cultural ambassador of the United States. Armstrong dedicated his life to his craft, developing new ways of playing jazz that have impacted musicians of all genres for generations.
The film also aims to dispel the idea that Armstrong did not do enough to support the Civil Rights Movement and shine a light on his personal efforts to support social justice through his work, as well as his willingness to break his silence on issues of segregation and patriotism.
Production company Imagine Documentaries, a branch of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, will be handling the project, joining the company’s Academy Award-winning slate of films.
Sacha Jenkins, known for his work on “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” and “Fresh Dressed” will be coming on to direct the film.
The filmmakers were granted access to a never-before-seen array of archival materials from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation including hundreds of hours of audio recordings, film footage, photographs and personal diaries.
“Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong” will mark the first significant documentary dedicated entirely to the life of the jazz giant.
On its release, the film will join Apple TV Plus’ growing library of award-winning documentaries and docuseries like “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You,” “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” “Beastie Boys Story,” “Boys State” and “Home.”
Jenkins, Julie Anderson, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes will be joining the project as producers along with Michele Anthony, David Blackman, Grazer and Howard as executive producers. The film is being produced in association with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment.