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"Keep on Keepin' on" is a feature length documentary about 3 young musicians & one master musician, the great Clark Terry. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on August 8, 2011.

"Keep on Keepin' on" is a feature length documentary about 3 young musicians & one master musician, the great Clark Terry.

About this project

Lot's of exciting stuff still happening here! Check our latest project update (above) for more.

The Film:

KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON is an inspiring personal story of an iconic jazz legend and his passing of the torch to his last student. The legend is 91-year-old Clark Terry, a man who played in the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands, broke racial barriers on American television, and mentored the likes of Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. In the film, his student is 24-year-old Justin Kauflin, a blind piano prodigy with chronic stage fright who dreams of following in his mentor's footsteps. When Justin is invited to compete in a prestigious competition and Clark­’s health takes a serious turn for the worse, the two face arguably the biggest challenges of their lives. The result is an intimate portrait of two remarkable men – a student striving against all odds and a teacher who continues to inspire, even as he fights for his own survival.

Clark Terry mentored - among others - Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, placing him as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Why we need funding:
Up to this point, we have entirely funded this project ourselves. We are asking for your contribution to help us cover the cost of filming and travel for the next 8 months.

We are filming history in the making, and are fully committed to making this an award winning film. We look forward to you being a part of this historic documentary!

Cheers,

Al and Ad

Please send our link to your friends: www.keepondoco.com

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  • Clark Terry's career in jazz spans more than seventy years. He is a world-class trumpeter, flugelhornist, educator, composer, writer, trumpet/flugelhorn designer, teacher and NEA Jazz Master. He has performed for seven U.S. Presidents, and was a Jazz Ambassador for State Department tours in the Middle East and Africa. More than fifty jazz festivals have featured him at sea and on land in all seven continents. Many have been named in his honor.

    He is one of the most recorded musicians in the history of jazz, with more than nine-hundred recordings. Clark's discography reads like a "Who's Who In Jazz," with personnel that includes greats such as Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Ben Webster, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Barnet, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Billy Strayhorn, Dexter Gordon, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, Milt Jackson, Bob Brookmeyer, and Dianne Reeves.

    Among his numerous recordings, he has been featured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Count Basie Orchestra, Dutch Metropole Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, Herbie Mann Orchestra, Donald Byrd Orchestra, and many other large ensembles - high school and college ensembles, his own duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, octets, and two big bands – Clark Terry's Big Bad Band and Clark Terry's Young Titans of Jazz.

    His Grammy and NARAS Awards include: 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, NARAS President’s Merit Award, three Grammy nominations, and two Grammy certificates.

    His original compositions include more than two hundred jazz songs, and he co-authored books such as Let's Talk Trumpet: From Legit to Jazz, Interpretation of the Jazz Language and Clark Terry's System of Circular Breathing for Woodwind and Brass Instruments with Phil Rizzo.

    Writer Chuck Berg said, "Clark Terry is one of contemporary music's great innovators, and justly celebrated for his great technical virtuosity, swinging lyricism, and impeccable good taste. Combining these with the gifts of a great dramatist, Clark is a master storyteller whose spellbinding musical 'tales' leave audiences thrilled and always awaiting more."

    After serving in the navy from 1942-1945 during the historic "Great Lakes Experience," Clark's musical star rose rapidly with successful stints in the bands of George Hudson, Charlie Barnet, Charlie Ventura, Eddie Vinson, and then in 1948 – the great Count Basie. In addition to his outstanding musical contribution to these bands, Mr. Terry exerted a positive influence on musicians such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whom credit Clark as a formidable influence during the early stages of their careers. In 1951 Clark was asked to join Maestro Duke Ellington's renowned orchestra where he stayed for eight years as a featured soloist.

    Following a tour in the "Free and Easy" musical in 1959 with music director, Quincy Jones, Clark's international recognition soared when he broke the color barrier by accepting an offer in 1960 from the National Broadcasting Company to become its first African American staff musician. He was with NBC for twelve years as one of the spotlighted musicians in the Tonight Show band. During that time, he scored a smash hit as a singer with his irrepressible "Mumbles."

    After his stint at NBC, between his performances and recording dates at concerts, clubs, cruises and jazz festivals, Clark became more dedicated to his greatest passion – jazz education. He organized a Harlem youth band which became the seed for Jazz Mobile in New York City.

    Billy Taylor then asked him to teach in educational institutions. This motivated Clark to organize other youth bands and influence many other jazz legends to teach with him at jazz camps, clinics and festivals at colleges and universities, while still maintaining a hectic performance and recording schedule for the next thirty years.

    On December 14, 2010, he celebrated his ninetieth birthday, and his students continue to fly from Australia, Israel, Austria, Canada, the United States, and many other locations to Clark’s home for jazz lessons. Clark says, "Teaching jazz allows me to play a part in making dreams come true for aspiring musicians."

    To celebrate his contributions to jazz education, he has been honored with fifteen honorary doctorates, and three adjunct professorships. He has also received numerous awards from high schools, junior high schools and elementary schools where he has shared his knowledge of jazz.

    Among his many awards, he has received honors from his hometown in St. Louis, Missouri which include a Hall of Fame Award from Vashon High School; a Walk of Fame Award and Star on Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, and a life-sized wax figure and memorabilia display at the Griot Museum.

    Clark has received dozens of other Hall and Wall of Fame Awards, Jazz Master Awards, keys to cities, lifetime achievement awards (four were presented to him in 2010), trophies, plaques and other prestigious awards. The French and Austrian Governments presented him with their esteemed Arts and Letters Awards, and he was knighted in Germany.

    His long-awaited autobiography – "Clark" – is in the final stages of being published by the University of California Press, and will be available in the Fall of 2011.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    2 backers

    Thank you so much for supporting this historic documentary!

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    66 backers

    You receive a high definition digital download of the finished film.

  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    52 backers

    You receive a DVD copy of "Keep On Keepin' On" and a thank-you listed on our blog.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    73 backers

    You receive the DVD of "Keep On Keepin' On" + a CD (your choice) of one of the character's - Clark Terry, Jeff Taylor, Justin Kauflin or Al Hicks + a thank-you in the credits of the film. (1 DVD + 1 CD + thank-you in film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    52 backers Limited (148 left of 200)

    THIS ONE'S FOR THE COLLECTORS! - a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive
    a personally AUTOGRAPHED CLARK TERRY CD + the DVD of "Keep On Keepin' On" + your choice of one of the other characters' CD's + a thank-you in the credits of the film. (1 personally autographed Clark Terry CD + 1 character's CD + 1 DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    17 backers Limited (133 left of 150)

    You receive an autographed CD from each character (which includes Clark Terry) + the DVD of "Keep On Keepin' On" signed by Al and Ad + a thank-you in the credits of the film. (4 autographed CD's + 1 autographed DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    9 backers Limited (41 left of 50)

    A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY to receive a personally autographed Clark Terry VINTAGE PUBLICITY SHOT - which is personally addressed to you!
    + Personally autographed CD's from each character + a DVD of "Keep On Keepin' On" autographed by Al and Ad + a thank-you in the credits of the film. ( 1 autographed vintage publicity photo + 4 autographed CD's + 1 autographed DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    14 backers

    You have just become an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER for "Keep On Keepin' On." You receive credit in the film + all the rewards listed above. (Associate producer credit + 1 autographed vintage publicity photo + 4 autographed CD's + 1 autographed DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    You receive an original AUTOGRAPHED CLARK TERRY LP! + Associate producer credit + all the rewards listed above (1 Autographed LP + Associte producer credit + 1 autographed vintage publicity photo + 4 autographed CD's + 1 autographed DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    You receive an original AUTOGRAPHED CLARK TERRY LP! + Associate producer credit + all the rewards listed above (1 Autographed LP + Associate producer credit + 1 autographed vintage publicity photo + 4 autographed CD's + 1 autographed DVD + a thank-you in the film credits)

  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    1 backer

    You have just become an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER for "Keep On Keepin' On." You will also receive a personal phone call or Skype call of thanks from Clark Terry, Ad and Al + all of the rewards listed above.

Funding period

- (61 days)