America's Musical Journey (IMAX) - Aloe Blacc Interview

America's Musical Journey with Aloe Blacc

America's Musical Journey with Aloe Blacc

The latest IMAX film is a sure way to get your toes tapping! 

MacGillivray Freeman Films’ newest 3D documentary for IMAX ® and giant screen theatres - America’s Musical Journey celebrates the unique diversity of cultures and creative risk-taking that characterize America, as told through the story of its music.

Narrated by Academy Award® winning actor Morgan Freeman, the 40-minute film follows Grammy Award®-nominated singer and songwriter Aloe Blacc as he traces the roots of America’s music and follows Louis Armstrong’s footsteps through the colourful locales and cultures where America’s music was born. 

Aloe Blacc with Gloria and Emilio Estefan in Miama, Florida

Aloe Blacc with Gloria and Emilio Estefan in Miama, Florida

Moving through such iconic cityscapes as New Orleans, Chicago, New York City, Nashville, Memphis, Miami and more, America’s Musical Journey explores the collision of cultures that gave birth to America’s musical heritage.  

Blacc was beyond thrilled when he was asked to take this journey with the IMAX team. At a recnet media preview for the film in New York Blacc said he hopes the movie sparks in viewers a “love for music. I want them to learn about the growth of different genres that were born here in the U.S. like jazz, blues, rock, even hip-hop. … If you get to see ‘America’s Musical Journey,’ you’ll see all the best there is to see here in the U.S. Politics aside, it’s a beautiful country.”

The film soundtrack features several of Blacc’s other songs including “Wake Me Up” and “I Need a Dollar,” along with classics like Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” and Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”


The movie looks at the roots of African-American musical traditions in the South, beginning with music brought here by enslaved Africans. Over time, that music developed into genres like gospel, the blues and jazz. The stories of the legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong in New Orleans and rock ‘n’ roll phenomenon Elvis Presley in Memphis are showcased along with scenes of break-dancers in Times Square, country music from Nashville and Motown in Detroit.

Blacc  travels from city to city, learning from local musicians and incorporating their various styles into a new song of his own, “My Story.” 

I had the opportunity to chat with Aloe Blacc live via satellite to find out more about his musical journey, how working on this film changed him as an artist and where he thinks the future of music is going. 

America’s Musical Journey will open in select IMAX and giant-screen theaters beginning February 16, 2018.