MacGillivray Freeman Films, Brand USA, and Sponsoring Partners Launch America’s Musical Journey, the Newest IMAX® Documentary Starring Grammy Award®-Nominated Singer and Songwriter Aloe Blacc and Narrated By Academy Award®-Winning Actor, Morgan Freeman
The new film celebrates the unique diversity of cultures and creative innovations that characterize America, as told through the story of its music.
Narrated by Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman, the film follows Grammy Award®-nominated singer and songwriter Aloe Blacc as he traces the roots of America’s music and follows the footsteps of Louis Armstrong through the colorful locales and cultures where America’s music was born. Visiting iconic music cities including New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; Nashville, and Memphis, Tennessee; Miami, Florida, and more,America’s Musical Journey explores the collision of cultures that gave birth to American art forms such as jazz, the blues, country, rock and roll, hip-hop, and more. As audiences join Blacc on this joyful, tune-filled tour, they’ll experience uniquely American adventures like paddle-wheel boating up the Mississippi Delta, flash mob dancing in Chicago, and skydiving with Elvis impersonators over Memphis in scenes shot exclusively for the giant screen.
Academy Award®-nominated director Greg MacGillivray threads all these images together to create an immersive experience of American culture and creativity with a soundtrack that showcases the national passion for creative innovation at its purest. “America’s music has its roots in the diverse cultures that came together from different parts of the world, culminating in a unique blend of sound, culture, and innovation unlike anywhere else in the world,” said MacGillivray. “This creativity and trailblazing spirit is what makes American music such a treasured experience around the world. I hope people are inspired to explore their own creativity after seeing the film.”
“Music is an essential part of the human experience, and I look forward to helping audiences discover the unique cultural influences that gave rise to jazz, the blues, folk, and other American musical genres,” says Aloe Blacc. “I love the freedom of expression in this country, which is a source of creativity and innovation unlike anywhere else.”
“We are excited to share our second film with the world, which celebrates the rich history and colorful tapestry of American culture through music,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States. “As a universal language that transcends borders, music is one of America’s most unique and important assets. Bringing to life the sights and sounds of our vibrant urban centers, America’s Musical Journey uses music as an instrument to inspire and welcome new audiences to experience travel to the USA in an engaging and dynamic new way.”
In addition to Aloe Blacc, audiences will meet other iconic artists, musicians, and innovators who are shaping America’s culture today, including Jon Batiste, bandleader and musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Latin music stars Gloria and Emilio Estefan, New Orleans music hero Dr. John, Chicago jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, teenage banjo-playing phenomenon Willow Osborne, Memphis jookin dance star Lil Buck, the Detroit Youth Choir, Chicago footwork maestros Pause Eddie and Donnetta “Lil Bit” Jackson, the Bandaloop vertical dancers, the Fisk University Jubilee Singers, the Beale Street Flippers, skydiving Elvis impersonators, and many more.
“Music has the power to bring people together, especially here in America where diversity and creative freedom are such an important part of the culture,” says Shaun MacGillivray, producer of America’s Musical Journey and president of MacGillivray Freeman Films. “We’re using the immersive, visual giant screen experience to tell the story of America’s musical and cultural heritage in a new and powerful way.”
The film will run from February 17 to 25 daily at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed Martin IMAX® Theater in Washington, DC and at the Airbus IMAX® Theater at the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The film will continue to run indefinitely at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater. There will be festivities on behalf of the film held both domestically and in international markets such as Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; and Beijing, China to mark the opening of the film around the world. For a running list of all theaters showing America’s Musical Journey (in the United States and internationally), please click here.
“Music expresses the richness of American culture, whose appeal makes the U.S. a popular destination for Canadian and international travelers alike,” said Duncan Bureau, vice president, global sales at Air Canada. “As the largest foreign carrier serving the U.S., our partnership with Brand USA is of great importance to Air Canada, as we offer 240 flights a day to more than 55 U.S. airports, with seamless connections via Canada for travelers from 6 continents.”America’s Music Journey Links: