Bolden (film)

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Film poster
Directed byDan Pritzker
Produced byJonathan Cornick
Michele Tayler
Written byDaniel Pritzker
David N. Rothschild
StarringGary Carr
Erik LaRay Harvey
Ian McShane
Michael Rooker
Yaya DaCosta
Reno Wilson
Robert Ri'chard
Breon Pugh
Music byWynton Marsalis
Mark Isham
Scott Steiner
CinematographyNeal Norton
Edited byThomas J. Nordberg
Chris Steele-Nicholson
King Bolden LLC
Distributed byAbramorama
Release date
  • May 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States

Bolden is a 2019 American drama film based on the life of cornetist Buddy Bolden (1877–1931). One of the seminal figures in jazz history, Bolden left no surviving recordings, having been committed in 1907 at age 30 to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum, where he spent the rest of his life after a diagnosis of acute alcoholic psychosis.[1]

The musical drama is directed by Daniel Pritzker, and features original music written, arranged and performed by Wynton Marsalis.[2] The film stars Gary Carr as Bolden, and co-stars Erik LaRay Harvey, Reno Wilson, Yaya DaCosta, Ian McShane and Michael Rooker.

The score by Marsalis includes vocalists Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas, Don Vappie, and instrumentalists including Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, and others.[3] The film contains performances by Reno Wilson playing Louis Armstrong (acting and singing). [4]

Bolden was released in theaters on May 3, 2019, by Abramorama.[5]



On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 70% based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10.[6] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 50 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]


  1. ^ "Two Films Unveil a Lost Jazz Legend", National Public Radio, December 15, 2007. "By most accounts, a mix of alcohol and mental illness sent Bolden into an asylum in 1907; he stayed there until his death in 1931."
  2. ^ Bolden (Original Soundtrack), at
  3. ^ "Jazz at Lincoln Center Press Release: Tuesday, March 5th, 2019"
  4. ^ "Reno Wilson Channels Louis Armstrong In 'Bolden'"
  5. ^ "Bolden movie official website".
  6. ^
  7. ^

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