American music would sound much different if not for the contributions of Black artists, many of whom have been obscured, ignored, or cast aside. We tell their stories.
We learn from it. From the people in front of the camera to those behind it-- and those behind those behind it-- our productions rely on the talents and skills of Black artists, crew members, and support staff. We walk the talk.
We believe that, by bringing to light some of the influential Black songwriters, musicians, and performers from the past, we support the efforts of the artists working today and those yet to come.
From Negro spirituals and field songs to porch music and the blues, country music has deep roots in Black traditions and culture. Over meals prepared by Black chefs, the five-part docuseries Roots to Blossoms taps the table talk of Black musicians to explore those roots, as well as the blossoming of Black artists in contemporary country music.
If you go looking for the roots of country music, you will find that— like R&B, rock ‘n roll, soul, funk, and rap— they start with Black contributors. Spirituals begat gospel, field songs begat the blues, porch songs begat bluegrass— and gospel, the blues, and bluegrass begat country music. But that’s a story that’s not as widely known as it deserves to be. It's story that, until now, has been told mostly in fragments. Roots to Blossoms will be the first docuseries to tell it whole.
Because music and food are intertwined in the Black community, from gospel songs and Sunday dinners to blues and barbecue, each episode of the Roots to Blossoms docuseries will use the framing device of a dinner table around which sit Black musicians, plus the series host, sharing a meal created by a Black chef. As they eat, the artists will talk about a particular type of music-- gospel, the blues, bluegrass/Americana, or contemporary country-- and share their experiences with it.
Grammy® Award-winner Dom Flemons, founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and a renowned singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist in his own right, is the host of Roots to Blossoms. As both the guide for conversations with guest musicians and as the voice-over narrator, Dom is the glue that binds the docuseries together.
An eloquent voice for performers of color, RissiPalmer broke into country music in 2007 with a self-titled album that resulted in three singles that hit the charts. As an executive producer of Roots to Blossoms, she’s one of the creative voices behind the docuseries, as well as being one of the featured guest artists.
An award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer, Ty Lewis is the creative force behind the docuseries. His vision-- to spotlight the overlooked and exploited Black artists as well as the successful ones-- is the foundation for Roots to Blossoms.
Each of the meals shared by Dom and the guest artists will be prepared by a chef from a Black-owned restaurant in one of the four cities where the docuseries will be shot– Atlanta, Memphis, Louisville, or Nashville. The recipes for the featured dishes featured will be compiled into a companion cookbook.
Roots to Blossoms is a no-holds-barred look at some of country music's most overlooked and underappreciated creative founders. Join us as we look to the past and its effects on the present and future of one of America's best-loved musical genres.
Intended as interstitial content for children's TV programming or for educational use, the 10-part mini-docuseries A Black Music Minute will consist of one-minute profiles of Black musical artists. Mixing animation with historic imagery and audio, each profile will highlight an artist's life and career.
Nothing deepens a person's understanding of music like pairing it with expert commentary. The Roots to Blossoms Podcast will provide a deeper dive into the music featured in the docuseries.
Ranging from panel discussions and artist interviews to initimate concerts with contemporary artists performing roots music, Roots to Blossoms Live will bring the docuseries alive in real time.
Roots to Blossoms Entertainment is a multi-platform video and film production company dedicated to uplifting and amplifying the voices and perspectives of diverse populations.
Gwen Kelly, Co-founder & President
Skip Berry, Co-founder & Managing Partner
Steve Cassarino, Co-founder & Managing Partner