These music documentaries on Netflix are great to watch during Black History Month, African-American Music Appreciation Month or any time of year. These Netflix titles feature concert footage, explorative films, and biographical dramas.
What are music documentaries?
Movies, television or radio programs that provide a factual record or report about a musician’s life and career.
What is African-American Music Appreciation Month?
African-American Music Appreciation Month is an annual celebration of African-American music in the United States. It was initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter who, on June 7, 1979, decreed that June would be the month of black music.
In 2009, the commemoration was given its current name by President Barack Obama. Obama noted that African-American music and musicians have helped the country “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.” (Source)
These movies include everything from concert footage, explorative films, and biographical dramas. These are great selections to add to your Netflix list.
What better way to celebrate the weekend than by binge-watching Netflix?
All the titles listed are currently on Netflix, but that is subject to change without notice.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC DOCUMENTARIES ON NETFLIX
Groundbreaking artists share their life stories in this vibrant documentary series that captures hip-hop’s impact on global culture. (Watch on Netflix)
Influential MCs, DJs and moguls trace hip-hop’s growth from the basements of the Bronx to the top of the charts in this documentary series. (Watch on Netflix)
Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone. (Watch on Netflix)
British documentarian Nick Broomfield investigates the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, digging up some surprises in the process. (Watch on Netflix)
Vice magazine’s Andy Capper follows rapper Snoop Dogg on a pilgrimage to Jamaica, where he rechristens himself Snoop Lion, a reggae artist. (Watch on Netflix)
This documentary charts the rise of Organized Noize, the influential producers behind megahits from Outkast, Goodie Mob, TLC and more. (Watch on Netflix)
Hip-hop artist No Malice reflects on the spiritual journey that led him to renounce coke rap, change his name and embrace Christianity. (Watch on Netflix)
Vintage concert footage, personal artifacts and his intimate musings reveal the private side of the life and career of rock-guitar god Jimi Hendrix. (Watch on Netflix)
This uplifting documentary follows R&B singer Sharon Jones’s battle with pancreatic cancer while keeping her band intact for a return to the stage. (Watch on Netflix)
his doc traces the impact of the Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache,” which played a key role in the birth of hip-hop after Kool Herc began sampling it. (Watch on Netflix)
Examine how the group of alternative hip-hop artists known as the Good Lifers started a movement and created a robust, progressive musical community. (Watch on Netflix)
In 1977 New York City, the talented and soulful youth of the South Bronx chase dreams and breakneck beats to transform music history. (Watch on Netflix)
This documentary focuses on the origins and popularity of New York radio hosts Stretch and Bobbito, who opened up the world to hip-hop in the 1990s. (Watch on Netflix)
R&B and soul legends team up with contemporary hip-hop artists to record an album celebrating the boundary-breaking Memphis music scene. (Watch on Netflix)
Featuring interviews, insights and archival footage, this documentary aims to reveal how historical events shaped the music of John Coltrane. (Watch on Netflix)
Take an in-depth look at the life and talent of the trailblazing musician who conquered racial barriers to leave an indelible mark on the jazz world. (Watch on Netflix)
This biographical documentary examines the early life and career of musical icon James Brown, from abandoned, impoverished child to Godfather of Soul. (Watch on Netflix)
Decades after serving a prison sentence for killing jazz musician Lee Morgan, his common-law wife, Helen, reflects on their lives and his legacy. (Watch on Netflix)
Featuring interviews, concert footage and behind-the-scenes access, this documentary delivers fans an all-access look at the life of Chris Brown. (Watch on Netflix)
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