Keep On Keepin’ On — a documentary on Clark Terry

October 21st, 2014

 

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In the introduction to his 2011 autobiography, trumpeter Clark Terry writes; “I’d always thought that the most important thing was to play my horn — to get into this band or that band or Duke’s band, to have my own band, to perform, record. And I did enjoy those things. Worked hard to achieve them. But, later on, I had a new dream: helping young musicians to make their dreams come true. That became my supreme joy and my greatest aspiration.” Indeed, while Terry’s musical career is legendary (Dizzy Gillespie thought he was “the best trumpeter around”), his life may be remembered as much for his work with young musicians as his impact on the bandstand.

A new documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, is evidence of Terry’s passion for mentoring younger players. The film focuses on the relationship Terry has with blind pianist Justin Kauflin, who would often receive instruction from Terry even when Terry was so weak he couldn’t sit up in bed. The two are described by New York Times film critic A.O. Scott as “the old-timer and the young striver” who make “a wonderful pair, and the privilege of their company is not something you should refuse,” and calls the film “an examination of the pursuit of greatness” that is a “grueling and demanding endeavor, for sure, but also, for Mr. Terry and anyone lucky enough to enter his orbit, a source of unending joy.”

Currently showing in select cities, for more information on the film, you can click here to read Scott’s October 2nd Times film review, and click below to view the film’s trailer.

 

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Trailer to Keep On Keepin’ On

From 1967, Clark Terry is featured on “Stardust”

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One comments on “Keep On Keepin’ On — a documentary on Clark Terry”

  1. I’d love to see the movie. Clark Terry could play anything and well. I heard him play a tin whistle fashioned for kids, and his rendition merrily skipped along; it made me happy just hearing it

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