Buy Educational DVD and Streaming Rights for THE WHOLE GRITTY CITY

An immersion in the world of three New Orleans marching bands that reveals the power and resilience of a culture.

For DVDs with public performance rights for secondary schools, public libraries and community organizations email the filmmakers at

Colleges and universities can buy a DVD and streaming rights from Filmakers Library HERE.

The Whole Gritty City is An ALA Notable Video

"The Whole Gritty City should be required viewing for any music educator in training, especially those with hopes for a career as a band director. All academic music libraries supporting music education programs are highly recommended to include this documentary in their media collection. Libraries supporting ethnomusicology, youth studies, race studies, or the social sciences will also find the film a worthwhile addition".  Vincent J. Novara, Curator, Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland for Educational Media Reviews Online

"Highly recommended for libraries collecting urban studies and for building community, music, and band programs".–Stephanie Bange,Wright State University, Dayton, OH, for School Library Journal

"This film is a musical celebration of New Orleans and its people, showing us that music is life, and where there is music, there is hope. Highly recommended". — Jessica Lawrence for Booklist

"The Whole Gritty City understands what ultimately powers New Orleans, and therefore, it champions what the American urban experience offers us all in terms of culture, community and ultimately, meaning". -David Simon creator of Treme, The Wire

"Marching bands have never been so captivating. The spontaneity, insights, candor, humor, joy, and even tragedy Barber and Lambertson encountered and shaped into a remarkable film couldn't possibly have been anticipated. The result -- at times joyful, at other times incredibly sad -- is an inspiring and moving documentary with great people who have amazing stories to tell. Be prepared to be shattered by some of them". -Common Sense Media

"We left the film shaken, mobilized"

Anyone can download a discussion and action guide for The Whole Gritty City here.

View a trailer and get more information here

You can contact the filmmakers at