Masters of American Music is a documentary feature tracing the roots of American jazz. Telling the story through the words of the artists themselves, Masters of American Music profiles American jazz masters Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Thelonius Monk. Parker, a saxophone prodigy, nearly re-invented the music form before his untimely death at 35, attributed to drug usage. Parker gained tremendous success at an early age and was embraced by music fans and insiders alike. Holiday's contribution to her musical genre is still being felt today, and through interviews with friends and peers, her life and music is examined. Thelonius Monk, known as much for his colorful, eccentric personality as for his music, is profiled like never before, and a portrait of a deeply misunderstood man emerges. Through interviews with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ruby Dee, Tony Bennett and Wynton Marsalis, the richly tapestried history of jazz is celebrated.