The multiple award-winning feature documentary, One Note AT A Time, which pays homage to the musicians who courageously returned to their hometown of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, is to be released in UK cinemas August 24.
Determined to resuscitate the music scene, this is their story, told in their own words. The film includes interviews with Dr John, Kermit Ruffins, Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall and British-born Trad Jazz drummer, Barry Martyn. There are also strong, female voices throughout the film, including those from the ‘Soul Queen of New Orleans’, Irma Thomas and ‘Queen of the Second Line’, Jennifer Jones.
Ten years in the making, One Note At A Time reveals final interviews and performances from much-loved, departed names in the world of jazz and blues, including Walter Payton Jr, Wardell Quezergue, Herman ‘Roscoe’ Ernest III and ‘Uncle’ Lionel Batiste.
Additionally, the film shines a light on the access to affordable healthcare issues faced by the working poor in the US and how a unique medical facility for musicians is ‘keeping the music alive’. As singer-songwriter Dr John notes, “If the musicians ain’t got the chance to live, then what chance has the music got?”
One Note At A Time is Renée Edwards’ feature length directorial debut. Edwards made her mark as a film editor for some of television’s highest profile news and current affairs series and documentary dramas, including award-winning Panorama Specials, A Fight to the Death and The Mind Reader.
British-born to an English mother and African American father, Edwards felt compelled to make the film having visited the city throughout her life. She said, “School summer holidays were regularly spent in New Orleans. As an adult I came to know the city in a new way, and very much appreciated the live sound of the music which beat through my childhood in England and America. I think the storm and subsequent flooding made me sad for my own loss, as well as for the people who suffered directly.”
The film has won numerous international and domestic festival awards including BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY at Studio City International Film Festival, GOLD WINNER at Los Angeles Film Review Industry Awards, BEST DOCUMENTARY at Nottingham International Film Festival and three awards at the Oxford International Film Festival including FILM OF THE FESTIVAL.