Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music

Documentary

1993

Narrated by Keith David, Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music explores the creation and development of America’s most ubiquitous genre of music: the blues.

Born in the Deep South after the demise of slavery, blues blended work songs, religious music, and West African musical forms to create a wholly new, uniquely expressive style of music.

Blues as a genre shaped the sound of jazz in the early 20th century and directly led to the creation of rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s. The scales, chords, and progressions of blues as a musical form can be found in styles from jazz to rock to contemporary R&B.