The Trail-Blazing Spirit of America’s Music. A story of culture, creativity and the music that shaped America. In America’s musical cities, every chord, every riff, every bang of a drum tells a story. In America’s Musical Journey these stories come together to create a soundtrack for the American experience—a soundtrack that showcases the nation’s diversity and its collision of cultures, culminating in a unique blend of sound, music and innovation unlike anywhere else in the world.
Meet the Artists
Aloe Blacc has studied everything from psychedelic rock and funk to reggae, salsa and dancehall, and has proved himself a distinguished singer/songwriter of folk/soul/pop with his mega-hit “Wake Me Up.”
Pianist, bandleader and New Orleans native Jon Batiste is equipped with a degree from Juilliard and in 2015 became the musical director of CBS’s, “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Cuban-American superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio are two of the world’s most influential Latin music artists.
Dr. John is an american singer, songwriter, voice actor, pianist, and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz, boogie woogie, and rock and roll.
Bandaloop’s work has been presented on museums, skyscrapers, bridges, billboards, in nature, and historical sites.
Donnetta ‘Lil Bit’ Jackson and Eddie ‘Pause’ Martin jr. are one of the top duos of Chicago footwork, a street dance that involves fast movement of the feet with twists and turns.
Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for over 50 years with an unforgettable sound that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and r&b charts.
Born in Nashville, seventeen-year-old Willow Osborne is a banjo virtuoso who has been wowing crowds all over Tennessee.
The Flying Elvi are a team of skydivers who have been impersonating Elvis in the air for nearly 20 years.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are an African American vocal ensemble comprised of students at Fisk University in Nashville. They are known for preserving the unique American musical tradition known as 'negro spirituals'.
Irma Thomas remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers from New Orleans, a treasure from the golden age of soul music.
The Detroit Youth Choir is made up of young people ages 8 to 18 under the direction of artistic director, Anthony White.
19 year old singer/songwriter and award winning native american flute player, Gareth Laffely is the youngest artist to reach #2 on the billboard new age charts at 17 years of age.
As the most popular act on Memphis’ legendary music mecca Beale Street, the Beale Street Flippers astonish the crowds with feats of acrobatic prowess that are unbelievable.
Charles “Lil Buck” Riley is a Los Angeles-based dancer from Memphis, Tennessee who specializes in a style of street dance called 'jookin'.
An Original Song by Aloe Blacc – “My Story”
While traveling across the country filming America’s Musical Journey and meeting up with artists like Dr. John, Jon Batiste, Gloria & Emilio Estefan and many others, Aloe Blacc was inspired to write an original song, “My Story.” Aloe performs the song in the film at a concert on the National Mall in Washington DC.
“There’s something exciting that happens when different cultures come together as they have in America. One of the things that happens is incredible creativity.”- Louis Armstrong: Following the Footsteps of a Legend
In America’s Musical Journey, Aloe Blacc traces the footsteps of Louis Armstrong from New Orleans to Chicago and beyond, where his impact on jazz and other American musical forms was profound. Born at the turn of the century in New Orleans, to parents who were slaves, Louis Armstrong learned to play the cornet in a boy’s home. A creative prodigy from the start, Armstrong revolutionized jazz with his adventurous solos, bluesy phrasing and bold improvisational style, becoming one of the most influential musical icons of the 20th century.
Elvis Presley: The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Elvis Presley is one of the most influential cultural forces of the 20th Century. In America’s Musical Journey, we visit the stops of his early music career, including Sun Studios in Memphis where Elvis recorded his first song in 1954, the Arcade Restaurant where he’d enjoy a milkshake after finishing a record and his home at Graceland. By the year 1956, Elvis had become an international sensation with his unique sound and style and ushered in a new era of American music.
Music in the Film
As featured in America’s Musical Journey
My Story – Aloe Blacc
Hello World – Aloe Blacc
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Black Woman – Alan Lomax, Negro Prison Blues
Nobody Knows The Trouble I See – The Poole Brothers
Basin Street Blues – Louis Armstrong
Down In New Orleans – Dr. John
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? – Louis Armstrong
The In Crowd – Ramsey Lewis
Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Louis Armstrong
Dinah – Louis Armstrong
Wake Me Up – Aloe Blacc
Mule Skinner Blues – Jimmie Rodgers
Manifest – Detroit Youth Choir
Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
Conga – Gloria Estefan
I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
There’ll Be Peace in The Valley – Elvis Presley
They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Louis Armstrong
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.