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Craig Barritt

Wynton Marsalis To Bring Jazz Pioneer Buddy Bolden's Life To The Big Screen

Bolden hits theater May 3.

The life of the musically gifted and mentally troubled jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden will be brought to the big screen in the reimagined biopic Bolden. Helmed by Daniel Pritzker and executive produced by jazz icon Wynton Marsalis, Gary Carr (HBO's The Deuce) stars as the talented musician whose life story is widely unknown.

Set in the sweltering heat and racial tensions of New Orleans 1900, Bolden emerges as an innovator of a  genre of music will become the foundation for modern American music. Unfortunately, little known is about Bolden who died in 1931 at 54 inside a Louisiana State Insane Asylum and was buried inside a pauper cemetery. Reportedly the only recording of Budden's music was lost in a fire.

Starring alongside Carr is YaYa DaCosta as Nora Bolden and Reno Wilson as Louis Armstrong.

According to Deadline Pritzker is the son of billionaire Hyatt Hotel owner magnate Jay Pritzker, who in 2007  began filming the historical biopic which placed Anthony Mackie in the starring role. The film has become a lofty passion project for Pritzker who revealed the budget surpassed $30 million

"The idea is to have Bolden go crazy before I do," Pritzker said.

In 2014, Pritzker described the film's opening sequence and said he wants viewers to know that for Bolden, everything starts with the music.

“The film starts out in this asylum where Bolden has been living for 24 years, and a radio is turned on and there is a Louis Armstrong concert being broadcast,” Pritzker said. “It is important that the audience understands this music is the trigger to taking this guy on this cinematic trip, and it opened the door to using some projection techniques and still photography I have been working on. They help tell the story quite effectively.”

Extensive re-shoots have taken place since the inception of the film, but it appears as if Bolden's life will finally hit the big screen May 3.

Watch the trailer below.

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