A Film ABout Kids and Music

August 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

There are some films that grab you by their title, by their cover art, by the assumptions you make when first reading the description. Then there are some films that surprise you, that remind you not to judge a book by its cover, that end up being one of your favorites. A Film About Kids and Music was certainly the latter for me.
A Film About Kids and Music follows the Sant Andreu Jazz Band through rehearsal and performances under the conductorship of Joan Chamorro. The Sant Andreu band is comprised of jazz and big band musicians ages 6 to 17 who play  in major venues across Spain.  Mr. Chamorro is their exceptionally charismatic leader whose unique conducting style only adds to the entertainment. 

Though a movie about kids playing instruments may sound to some people (e.g. me) like a film only their parents can love, filmmaker Ramon Tort delivers a piece that hits all the right notes (pun intended) and appeals to a wide audience. Not overly sappy, not too technical in music theory specifics, but just the right mix of great music, hardworking kids, and adults doing what they love.  It’s the expert balance between all of these elements that keep the film engaging throughout. 
The music in this film is fantastic (in fact, there were several moments the music literally gave me goose bumps) but some of the most touching moments are when no music is playing. We see Chamorro playing along with one of the young band member’s magic tricks, right after scolding him for not practicing enough. Another scene features several kids playing chicken in a swimming pool while Chamorro gamely reads on in the sun. In addition to time with the band itself, the audience is also privy to conversations between Chamorro and some of the premier jazz musicians playing today, (Jesse Davis, Wycliffe Gordon,  Ricard Gili, and Terell Stafford) discussing what music is and what it means to lead young musicians. These conversations provide a nice break from the hustle and bustle of performances and give some insight into the current state of jazz music . Finally, as the credits roll we get to see some of the footage taken by the kids. Goofy and filled with dancing, Tort ensures every member of the audience leaves with a smile. 
Truly worth checking out, whether you’re a former band member, current band member, love music, or just love a good story. This film warms your heart, gives you hope for the future, and is a captivating ride from the first to the last scene.  Plus, when’s the last time you saw a 6 year old play the trumpet and didn’t want to pull your hair out?

— kj

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