Body and Soul: An American Bridge


Josh Kun of the Annenberg School of Communications proclaims that every musical encounter is a cross-cultural encounter. Out of all such encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the one between African Americans and American Jews.

Body and Soul: An American Bridge aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire. Composed by Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929, the song was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman and ushered into the jazz canon by Louis Armstrong the following year. Four years later, the successful recording of "Body and Soul" by a behind-the-scenes Benny Goodman trio which included the Black pianist Teddy Wilson led to the historic smashing of the color barrier in popular music.


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Best Music Documentary -- San Francisco Black Film Festival

Official Selection:

Film Festivals:

Oakland International Film Festival;  Vancouver Lift-Off Global Film Festival On-Line; KBOO Community Radio at Clinton St. Theater (Portland); Teaneck International Film Festival

Jewish Film Venues:

San Diego JFF; Atlanta JFFl; East Bay JFF; Washington (DC) JFF; National Center for Jewish Film Film Festival (Boston); Toronto Jewish Film Festival; World of Jewish Culture @ Piccolo Spoletto (Charleston, SC); Portland JFF; Albuquerque JFF; San Francisco JFF; Sao Paulo JFF;  Palm Beach JFF; Spertus Institute (Chicago); Carmel JFF; Athens, GA JFF; Baltimore JFF

Black Film Festivals:

San Francisco Black Film Festival; Baltimore International Black Film Festival; Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles); Roxbury International Film Festival (Boston)

Documentary Film Festivals:

 Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival; American Documentary Film Festival (Palm Springs); DocUtah Film Festival (St. George, UT);                      


Satchmo with the band he recorded "Body and Soul" with.

Satchmo with the band he recorded "Body and Soul" with.