WORTH A WATCH
Music Documentaries & Performances
A learning experience that will enrich your life in unexpected ways. Africa has shaped our modern world and understanding this history provides a grounding, education, and a sense of evolution not always conveyed with such quality.
Ray Brown became the GO-TO in terms of bass players who really understood the language of jazz, having played with jazz giants such as Oscar Peterson or say, Dizzy Gillespie. Ray continues to inspire jazz bassists across the world to play with a level of authenticity that jazz simply has got to have to be real.
An incredible body of work from Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), capturing life as a black man or women from the Windrush era to now. This is an important body of work that ensures that how life is, was and could be for the black man in the UK is known,viewed and discussed properly.
The British Jazz Explosion
The biggest names in the current, buzzing UK jazz scene play live in a special edition of this iconic BBC jazz TV show. Sons of Kemet, Nubya Garcia, Kokoroko, Poppy Ajudha, Matthew Halsall, Moses Boyd and Exodus and Ezra Collective all contribute to an incredible line-up. The show, hosted by drummer Moses Boyd and 1Xtra presenter Jamz Supernova, also includes short films exploring the roots of the current UK jazz scene.
BBC iPlayer - Fighting the Power: Britain after George Floyd Daniel Henry follows the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK, as the country is forced to look again at its record on race in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US
Documentary, told in Count Basie’s own words, which reveals for the first time the private passions and ambitions that inspired the world-famous bandleader and pianist.
Until now, little was known about Basie’s private and family life, but director Jeremy Marre has found a treasure trove of home movies and photo albums that show Basie’s remarkable relationship with his wife Catherine, whose pioneering support for African-American causes placed her at the side of Martin Luther King. Through Basie’s intimate footage and letters - and interviews with friends like Quincy Jones and Annie Ross - we discover the count’s protective love for his disabled daughter Diane who ‘was never out of his heart and mind - the hidden core of his creative life’.
Basie’s musical achievements were remarkable. He was the first African-American musician to win a Grammy. He brought the blues to the big band podium. He was ‘King of the Swing Kings’. We see rare performances with Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr and many others. But this film digs deeper, uncovering the inner motivation and passions that drove Basie’s career as he became a unique link between jazz and America’s turbulent social history.
BBC iPlayer - BLACK AND BRITISH: A Forgotten History Historian David Olusoga explores the enduring relationship between Britain and people whose origins lie in Africa. From the African Romans who guarded Hadrian's Wall in the 3rd century AD to the black trumpeter of the Tudor courts, David uncovers a history that is as surprising as it is revealing.
BBC iPlayer - Alt History
Series 1: 1. Black British History We’re Not Taught in Schools
Writer and historian David Olusoga introduces a series of short films exploring critical moments in Black British history that we're not taught in schools.
BBC iPlayer - Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners. In 1834 Britain abolished slavery, a defining and celebrated moment in our national history. What has been largely forgotten is that abolition came at a price. The government of the day took the extraordinary step of compensating the slave owners for loss of their 'property', as Britain's slave owners were paid £17bn in today's money, whilst the slaves received nothing.
For nearly 200 years, the meticulous records that detail this story have lain in the archives virtually unexamined - until now. In an exclusive partnership with University College London, historian David Olusoga uncovers Britain's forgotten slave owners. Forensically examining the compensation records, he discovers the range of people who owned slaves and the scale of the slavery business.
James Baldwin - The iconic Cambridge Speech.
BBC iPlayer - SOUL AMERICA Three-part series chronicling the journey of soul music from its origins in gospel and R&B.
In the 1970s, Bob Marley rose from humble beginnings to become a global superstar. It was a journey that took place not just in his homeland of Jamaica but also in Britain - the place he came to regard as his second home.
Featuring rarely seen archive and interviews with people who met him, this documentary examines Marley’s special relationship with Britain and reveals how his presence influenced British politics, culture and identity during a time of massive social and civil unrest in the UK - and how his universal message of one love and unity helped inspire a generation of black British youth.
BBC iPlayer - Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald’s life, this special film explores how her music became a soundtrack for a tumultuous century