The Whole Gritty City

The Whole Gritty City is a unique, fascinating window into the little-known world of New Orleans school marching bands. This dramatic, music-filled documentary follows kids in three bands as the directors get them ready to perform in the Mardi Gras parades, and teach them to succeed and to survive. Navigating the urban minefield through moments of setback, loss, discovery, and triumph, these children and their adult leaders reveal the power and resilience of a culture. A 2016 ALA Notable Video, it was broadcast nationally as a CBS News Special hosted by Wynton Marsalis. Available on AppleTV,  Roku, Vimeo,  Kweli TV, Qello Concerts, VHXTV, Tubi, GuideDoc and DVD.


A film by Richard Barber and Andre Lambertson

Producer, director and editor: Richard Barber

Co-director and director of photography: Andre Lambertson

Band Room Productions

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For public screenings please contact the filmmakers at Sometimes an organization will arrange a public screening without contacting us. If you do that, we’re not mad at you. We love audiences to see the film. But it would be better if you do contact us first! We can help you get the best possible copy for your screening, and we can work out a reasonable fee, and even waive the fee in some situations.


See The Whole Gritty City’s Kickstarter backers here and here.

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Watch the Trailer