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Bolden 18*

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival

Gary Carr playing the cornetist Buddy Bolden

This new feature film is an impressionistic portrait of the pioneering cornetist Buddy Bolden, sometimes credited as the “father” of jazz.

The story is told almost entirely in flashback, from within the mind of Buddy Bolden (Gary Carr) as he paces the cell of the psychiatric hospital where he is incarcerated. It interweaves very early childhood memories with others from his young adulthood in turn-of-the-century New Orleans, when he makes waves as an inspired musician but falls under the sway of an unscrupulous manager.

The film conjures a convincing period ambience and comes alive especially in the scenes where Buddy and his band perform at the local dance hall, and in others featuring Louis Armstrong performing a tribute to the musician he describes as “the first king of New Orleans music”. The soundtrack features original contributions by Wynton Marsalis

US 2019 Dir Daniel Pritzker 108 min Digital presentation

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Barbican Cinema 3