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Clark Terry Documentary in the making "Keep On Keepin On"


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Australian filmmakers Alan Hicks and Adam Hart are near to completion on their “dream project" to depict and bring to the screen the mentoring legacy of legendary jazz trumpeter, Clark Terry. Using a reality format, these brilliant filmmakers have followed the interaction of the 90 year-old Lifetime Achievement Grammy®-winning jazz trumpet superstar with student musicians. The fascinating documentary is titled: “Keep On Keepin' On"—a signature phrase Terry has used in his eight-decade career to inspire and motivate students. It is a list that includes both Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whose careers Terry mentored and impacted.

“"Keep On Keepin' On" started as a casual conversation in the surf between Adam and I," musician/Co-producer Hicks said in a recent promotion. “The idea took full hold when I became a member of Clark Terry's Jazz ensemble at William Paterson University. Clark has been wonderful and totally committed to this effort," he added.

The film focuses primarily on Mr. Terry's unique teaching approach and his interaction with the musicians—Justin Kauflin, a 24 year-old blind pianist and drummer Alan Hicks, 27—and their reactions to and exchanges with the Master teacher. Terry, a former boxer as a youth, pulls no punches in detailing to these students what he's learned and what it takes to achieve levels of mastery and success in the highly competitive world of music.

“To capture the personal dynamics and the chemistry that Clark generates with these student-musicians was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them and for us," stated Co-producer and filmmaker Adam Hart, whose prior heralded work dealt primarily with surfing films. “As we filmed Clark mentoring, we remembered that, in addition to being a legendary jazz artist, he has always been a great teacher," Hart said. “He taught both Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Clark has a tremendous jazz education legacy. He has generously shared his wisdom and experiences in Master Classes and clinics at music conferences and at colleges and universities around the globe," he continued.

The film (which also chronicles the progress of Clark Terry's autobiography to be published in October by the University of California Press) is attempted at being funded by the filmmakers. They also incorporating donations through Kickstarter, a unique participatory funding resource that allows individuals to contribute to the project and receive various levels of “rewards" (notably Clark Terry memorabilia—collectible CDs, DVDs, LPs, etc.) corresponding to their level of donation. Funding for the effort is still being accepted and will continue through until August 8th.

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