Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

The Film

A revelatory, thrilling and emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

“A Smart, Exhilarating Look at an Influential Label… ...This documentary directed by Sophie Huber makes a point right off that Blue Note Records is still very much a thing of the present… This tidy, thoughtful film gets at jazz’s joy and pain.” - Glenn Kenny, The New York Times (Critic’s Pick)

“Jazz may be a quintessentially American art form, but it is Europeans who make some of the best jazz documentaries, with the captivating 'Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes' being the latest case in point. Potently directed by Switzerland’s Sophie Huber...” - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Damn-near immaculate music documentary" - Leslie Felperin, The Guardian

More about the film


September 20, 2019

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes on DVD/Blu-Ray/VOD

Available worldwide!




July 15, 2019

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes in US cities

Following a great start of our US theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles, we're excited to let you know that BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES will play in the following US cities in July and August.  For all updates and new dates, please visit:

AUSTIN July 19 -21 Austin Film Society

DETROIT July 15 w Don Was (Concert of Colors) Detroit Institute of Arts July 19 - 24 Cinema Detroit

WASHINGTON, DC One Show Only! August 7 at 8 PM Avalon Theatre

SAN FRANCISCO August 9 -11 Roxie

NASHVILLE One Show Only! August 12 The Belcourt Also: Go see Herbie Hancock, Terrace Martin and Lionel Loueke live at the Ryman on August 11. They might be joining the Belcourt screening.

MINNEAPOLIS August 14 Trylon

PHOENIX August 28 Film Bar

We hope you can see the film in a theater, alone to experience the sound and full power of this music.

June 28, 2019

German Documentary Film Award

BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES is awarded with the German Documentary Film Award Opus GmbH Music Prize.

«The jury is of the opinion that this film tells the story of Blue Note in a congenial way and is therefore a convincing example of what a documentary film can achieve at best.»

June 24, 2019

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes US cinema release

LAST DAYS IN NYC - FIRST DAYS IN LA! Special guests/moderators during Los Angeles opening weekend starting June 28: Nelson George (Fri), Simon Kilmurry (Sat), Don Was and Keith Lewis aka Qmillion Riddim (Sun).

Screening times and tickets Los Angeles/Santa Monica, Laemmle theatre:

New York, Metrograph:…/…/blue-note-records-beyond-the-notes

March 20, 2019

Cinema Release in UK, Ireland and Canada

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes will be released in theaters in the UK & Ireland. Locations and dates HERE

Screenings in Toronto/Canada from 3/29 through 4/7 at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. Tickets HERE

October 16, 2018

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes tourt auf Festivals

We are pleased about the vivid interest of festivals: Dallas DocuFest,  Doc Lisboa, Doc'N Roll Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Braunschweig International Film Festival, Beirut Art Film Festival, In-Edit Barcelona, Festival dei Popoli, IDFA-Best of Fests ...

August 28, 2018

On Tour in September

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes: Dok Station - Music Film Festival Bucarest/Rumania, Filmfest Hamburg/Germany and Vancouver International Film Festival/Canada.

August 23, 2018

Premiere in Luzern

Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes: am Donnerstag, 23. August um 19 Uhr Filmpremiere und Gespräch im Stattkino, Luzern, mit Niklaus Troxler sowie Pirmin Bossart; musikalisches Intro: Urs Leimgruber. Zur Einstimmung "Jazz als Lebensschule", erschienen in der Luzerner Zeitung HIER

June 23, 2018

Festivals in July

Our Blue Note film will be premiered in France at FID Marseille, will be screened at the Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco and will have a special screening at the Kronsberg Jazz Festival in Norway. Thank you for having us!

June 04, 2018

In Swiss Cinemas in June

You don't have to be a jazz fan to love this movie! An emotional journey behind the scenes of Blue Note Records, the pioneering label that gave voice to some of the finest jazz artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.


June 01, 2018

Shanghai International Film Festival

Happy to announce the Asian premiere of Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.

May 04, 2018

Sheffield Doc/Fest

We are thrilled to announce our European premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest. The director Sophie Huber will be present at the first screening on June 8. Screening dates and tickets:

April 23, 2018

World Premiere @Tribeca

We are proud to announce our world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival! Blue Note Records was founded in New York in 1939, nearly 80 years later we come back with a film about this legendary label. Congrats to the whole team!

See all News

Blue Note

«Blue Note’s legendary catalog traces the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz, Boogie Woogie, and Swing, through Bebop, Hard Bop, Post Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Fusion. »

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Director's Note

«I write what I wish for. – Wayne Shorter»

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Interview Director

«Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber succeeds in taking an intimate look behind the scenes of the legendary American jazz label. As the title promises, the film goes beyond the history of the label and follows jazz as a political statement, which is particularly resonant today.»

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With (In Alphabetical Order)      

Ambrose Akinmusire

Michael Cuscuna

Lou Donaldson

Robert Glasper

Herbie Hancock

Derrick Hodge

Norah Jones

Keith Lewis

Lionel Loueke

Terrace Martin

Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Kendrick Scott

Wayne Shorter

Marcus Strickland

Rudy Van Gelder

Don Was


Sophie Huber

Director Of Photography              

Shane Sigler

Patrick Lindenmaier


Russell Greene


Hercli Bundi

Chiemi Karasawa

Susanne Guggenberger

Sophie Huber

Executive Producers                                  

Geoffrey Kempin

Terry Shand

Anke Beining-Wellhausen

Associate Producer                        

Vadim Jendreyko


Mira Film

In Association with

Eagle Rock Entertainment

Isotope Films

Final Cut USA

BBC Music

In Coproduction with

Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

Radio Télévision Suisse, SRG SSR


With Financial Support From      

Zürcher Filmstiftung

Media Desk Suisse

UBS Culture Foundation

Verein zur Filmförderung in der Schweiz – IWC Filmmaker Award

Stiftung Kulturfonds Suissimage

Succès Passage Antenne

Ernst Göhner Stiftung and Stage Pool Focal