This feature documentary uses music to reveal the many faces of jazz, New Orleans style. Colourful and alive with music, the film captures the street life and traditions of this vibrant city and explores the roots of the music that springs from the soul of the African-American community.
Filmmaker André Gladu continues his journey through North America’s varied music and sounds in Liberty Street Blues. From the film’s opening sequences, the voiceover draws a connection between New Orleans and Montréal, tracing the northern and southern boundaries of the region he has always roamed for his films. In the streets of Louisiana’s metropolis, Gladu and his team seek out the blues and jazz music of its Black communities, brilliantly capturing its festive and rollicking second lines. In addition to filming professional musicians, they stop to interview bystanders and street vendors in the French Market. Whether in Quebec or Louisiana, regardless of our skin color or the language we speak, music, from traditional reels to jazz, has the power to build solidarity and break down the barriers and categories that divide individuals and communities. If there’s one lesson we can learn from Liberty Street Blues, it’s this: music helps us connect to a deeply human and essential quality inside each of us.
André Gladu, born in 1945, is a prolific Quebec filmmaker. After studying graphic communications at the École des Beaux-arts de Montréal, and then at the London College of Printing, in England, he moved to New York, to the School of Visual Arts. Finally, he studied radio, television and film at the Columbia University.
With more than 40 films to his credits, he received in 2018 the Albert-Tessier award, honoring his work and career. André Gladu's interests include popular musical traditions, speech, painting and poetry. He co-directed with Michel Brault, from 1974 to 1980, the documentary series Le son des Français d'Amérique, listed in the international register Memory of the World by UNESCO since 2017.