Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes is the story of the heralded jazz musician and composer whose far-reaching ambitions were inspired and challenged by the inequities of the society around him. His stunningly diverse seven-decade career marked him as one of the great musical artists of the 20th Century. and a pioneering cultural activist at times when the nation was steeped in racism. The film follows Roach across a rich and complicated life, years of now-legendary achievement, deep personal struggle, and the price he paid for his outspoken views. His was an epic musical journey — from the revolutionary Jazz of the 1940s to the Civil Rights years, through experiments in hip hop, multi-media works, and beyond.

The film, which is the culmination of years of work, features substantive conversations with Max Roach himself, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater,  Harry Belafonte, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Randy Weston.  Directed and produced by distinguished MNFF Honoree Sam Pollard and Ben Shapiro, the film had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March.  MNFF Selects proudly presents its Vermont Premiere at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. 

This screening of Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes is supported by Gary Sarachan and Margaret Fox, founders of JAZZ MIDDLEBURY.

Vermont Premiere


Directed by: Samuel Pollard, Ben Shapiro


Genre: Documentary
Length: 82 minutes


MNFF Selects “Larger Than Life” Series
Wednesday, May 10
Town Hall Theater, Middlebury VT