About this film

You can’t tell the history of jazz without telling the history of jazz from Detroit. “The Best of the Best: Jazz from Detroit” explores the dynamic story of the city’s innovative and influential jazz musicians. Set within Detroit’s dramatic rise and fall as an industrial power and the struggles and triumphs of its African-American community, the film weaves a compelling historical and cultural tapestry through the 20th and 21st centuries. From legends like Elvin Jones and Ron Carter to today’s stars like Karriem Riggins and Regina Carter, scores of world-class jazz musicians have rolled off Detroit’s assembly line—nurtured by a profound legacy of mentors such as Barry Harris, Marcus Belgrave, and Rodney Whitaker and the resiliency of an American city that never quits. “The Best of the Best: Jazz from Detroit” reminds audiences that the city remains a mecca of Black musical excellence, and that jazz is central to the soundtrack of Detroit’s renaissance. World premiere.

After the films: On Saturday, Nicole Avery Nichols, editor and vice president of the Free Press, talks to filmmakers Roberta Friedman, Daniel Loewenthal and Mark Stryker, and Robert L. Hurst III, bassist and composer. On Sunday, Duante Beddingfield, arts and culture reporter at the Free Press, talks to Friedman, Loewenthal and Stryker.


7 p.m. Sat., April 13, Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA 

1 p.m. Sun., April 14, Birmingham 8 Powered by Emagine 

Not available virtually


Daniel Loewenthal

Roberta Friedman, Daniel Loewenthal, Mark Stryker

Mark Stryker

Shane McMurphy

Daniel Loewenthal

Running time:
1 hour, 29 minutes

Country of origin:


Film website