Jazz on Film

Jazz on Film

A selection of films that incorporate jazz into their story. Ranging from Shirley Clarke's The Connection, a play within a play within a jazz concert, to portraits of jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman and Marcus Miller, these films celebrate and appreciate the music art form.

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Jazz on Film
  • The Great Flood

    Directed by Bill Morrison • Documentary • 2013 • 80 minutes

    The Mississippi River Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in American history. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its earthen embankments in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles. Part of its legacy was ...

  • Marcus

    Directed by Patrick Savey • Documentary • With Marcus Miller, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Miles Davis • 2014 • 97 minutes

    Patrick Savey plunges us into Marcus’s world, capturing the New York roots of the legendary bass player, following his path like the pebbles of Tom Thumb, as he meets mast...

  • Ornette: Made in America

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • Documentary • With Ornette Coleman, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry, Yoko Ono, Charlie Haden, Robert Palmer • 1985 • 85 minutes

    Returning in 1983 to his home in Fort Worth, Texas, documentary footage and dramatic scenes recall legendar...

  • Stations of the Elevated

    Directed by Manfred Kirchheimer • Documentary • 1981 • 46 minutes

    Stations of the Elevated (1981) is a 45-minute city symphony directed, produced and edited by Manfred Kirchheimer. Shot on lush 16mm color reversal stock, the film weaves together vivid images of graffiti- covered elevated subway ...

  • The Connection

    Directed by Shirley Clarke • Drama • With William Redfield, Warren Finnerty, Roscoe Lee Browne • 1961 • 110 minutes

    Created by director Shirley Clarke at a time when female filmmakers were in short supply, The Connection shatters stereotypes to become one of the most vital American independent ...

  • NY Export: Opus Jazz

    Directed by Jody Lee Lipes & Henry Joost • Documentary • 2010 • 60 minutes

    In 1958, Jerome Robbins’ “ballet in sneakers,” NY Export: Opus Jazz, became a smash hit when it was broadcast on The Ed Sullivan Show and toured around the world. Set to an evocative jazz score by Robert Prince, the dance...

  • Oscar

    Directed by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre • Animation • 2016 • 12 minutes

    Brilliantly mixing animated sequences and archival footage, Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre paints a touching portrait of virtuoso pianist Oscar Peterson. As with her previous films (McLaren's Negative and Jutra), Saint-Pierre pursues...

  • Ronnie's

    Directed by Oliver Murray • Documentary • With Ronnie Scott, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Van Morrison, Chet Baker, Quincy Jones • 2020 • 102 minutes

    Ronnie’s chronicles the life of saxophonist Ronnie Scott, a poor, Jewish kid growing up in 1940s East End, London ...

  • No Ordinary Man

    Directed by Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt • Documentary • With Susan Stryker, Stephan Pennington, Billy Tipton Jr. • 2020 • 80 minutes

    American jazz musician Billy Tipton developed a reputable touring and recording career in the mid-twentieth century, along with his band The Billy Tipton Trio. A...

  • Myth of a Colorblind France

    Directed by Alan Govenar • Documentary • With Tyler Stovall, Monique Y. Wells, Thomas Allen Harris, Karim Toure, Akin Babatunde • 2020 • 86 minutes

    For more than a century, African American artists, authors, musicians and others have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of th...