Body and Soul: An American Bridge

Sponsored by the Arthur Tracy “The Street Singer” Endowment Fund honoring the memory and musical legacy of Arthur Tracy.

Dir. Robert Philipson
(58 min, United States, 2016)
DC Premiere

Examining the fascinating history of the titular jazz standard, Body and Soul: An American Bridge explores the fraternity and conflict between African American and Jewish American musicians that left an indelible mark on this country’s cultural history.

Created by Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929, the song was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer, Libby Holman, and ushered into the jazz canon by Louis Armstrong. Four years later, successful recording by the Benny Goodman Trio, which included Black pianist Teddy Wilson, led to the historic smashing of the color barrier in popular music.

Co-presented by Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington The Hamilton DC the Foundation for Jewish Studies


Saturday, May 20, 4:30 pm
Pre-Sale Only*
Bethesda Row Cinema
7235 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD

Sunday, May 21, 12:00 pm
Edlavitch DCJCC
1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC

*Saturday screenings before 6:15pm are pre-sale only in observance of Shabbat. Tickets to these screenings will not be available for purchase at the door.


Both screenings followed by a Q&A with director Robert Philipson.

Robert Philipson backed into filmmaking when he took an Introduction of videography course at Berkeley City College while trying to learn how to operate a camera. Already an experienced writer and college professor (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin), Robert was blessed with an intuitive sense of form and structure. He quickly mastered the independent filmmaker’s art of seducing others to his projects and turned his multimedia classes to good use. His first film festival entry, Ma Rainey’s Lesbian Licks (2005) played in 20 different film festivals. His subsequent documentary shorts have played in over 70 film festivals and have won an award or four. Body and Soul: An American Bridge is his first feature-length documentary.


Ticket sales are now open for the general public. Please note that day-of ticket sales are only available at the door (space permitting). An on-site Box Office will open one hour prior to the start of the first screening at that venue. If an event sells out, there will be a Rush Line and tickets will be released if they become available. All Saturday daytime screenings are pre-sale only in observance of Shabbat. If you need help using our online ticketing system please view our Step-By-Step guide or fill out the Website Support Request Form if you have an inquiry.

Website Support Online Ticketing Guide

This event finished on May 22, 2017.