Under the guiding hand of Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, The Blues™ is a seven-film television series of personal and impressionistic films viewed through the lens of seven world-famous directors who share a passion for blues music. Charles Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Mike Figgis, Marc Levin, Richard Pearce, Martin Scorsese, and Wim Wenders each capture the essence of blues music and delve into its global influence—from its roots in Africa to its inspirational role in today’s music.
The blues is a powerfully influential music genre; an expression of the African-American experience that speaks of universal emotions. Many of the world’s most celebrated artists have credited the blues with influencing their music. The Blues™ traces the actual journey of the music from Africa, across America, and to Europe, and also looks at the effects of the blues on all popular music. Driven by the beat of performances by famous players from every kind of music the blues has inspired—hip-hop, rhythm and blues, soul, country and rock 'n' roll—this series takes us on a journey as soulful and ebullient as the music itself.
"The blues is at once American and worldly. It's a form of storytelling that is so universal that it has inspired beyond our borders and
"The blues has always been part of my musical life and the piano has a special place, beginning when my mother brought home all of Fats Waller's records. Also, the music has always played a part in my movies. A piano blues documentary gives me a chance to make a film that is more directly connected to the subject of the music than the features that I have been doing throughout my career."
“These songs meant the world to me. I felt there was more truth in them than in any book I had read about America."
"The sound of the blues was a part of my environment that I took for granted. However, as years passed, the blues slowly emerged as an essential source of imagery, humor, irony, and insight that allows one to reflect on the human condition.”
"When we were shooting Sam Lay and his band at the Chicago Blues Festival, they were playing Muddy Waters' classic, 'I Got My Mojo Workin.' I closed my eyes and was transported back to when I was a 15-year-old hanging in my buddy's basement listening to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for the first time. My life was changed that day, and 35 years later the music's still shakin' my soul."
"The Blues is a chance to celebrate one of the last truly indigenous American art forms. Hopefully we'll get there before it's too late."
Action & Impact
“Our goal never was to produce the definitive work on the blues. It was, from the start, to create highly personal and impressionistic films as seen through the eyes of the most creative directors around." Martin Scorsese
2004 Grammy Award Nomination for Best Long Form Music Video
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming: Soul of a Man
2003 Grammy Awards Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey
“I've always felt an affinity for blues music—the culture of storytelling through music is incredibly fascinating and appealing to me." Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese Director
Martin Scorsese was born in 1942 in New York City, and grew up in the tough ...Read More
Charles Burnett Director
During his stint as a young student at UCLA's School of Theater, Film & Television ...Read More
Clint Eastwood Director
As one of the most prolific, versatile artists in the history of cinema ...Read More
Mike Figgis Director
Mike Figgis has emerged as a visionary filmmaker who thrives on taking risks ...Read More
Marc Levin Director
Marc Levin has been making provocative, award-winning films for more than 25 years ...Read More
Richard Pearce Director
Richard Pearce made his feature film directorial debut with the period drama Heartland ...Read More
Wim Wenders Director
Often hailed as one of the most important directors on the international scene ...Read More
- Joy & Wonder
- Human Condition
- Educating & Inspiring
STEP celebrates the unquenchable spirit of an all-female step team as they train, compete and work to be the first in their family to attend college.
Midsummer in Newtown
A powerful film that encompasses two stories: a community that refused to be defined by tragedy, and the transformative power of the arts.
We The Voters
We The Voters: 20 Films for the People unravels how U.S. democracy works and asks Americans to seize the power of their vote
Naledi: A Baby Elephant's Tale
The true story of a baby elephant born into a rescue camp in Botswana, who, at one month of age, is suddenly orphaned.