Quincy Jones at SIFF with jazz documentary
Quincy Jones comes to town for a raft of SIFF events, including a screening of a movie he produced about the renowned jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, and a lifetime achievement award.
Seattle Times jazz critic
Quincy Jones will get a Lifetime Achievement Award from SIFF
Quincy Jones at the Seattle International Film Festival
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, introduction and screening of “The Pawnbroker” at the Harvard Exit Theatre, 807 E. Roy St., Seattle; $10-$12 (206-324-9996 or www.siff.net).
5 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, tribute reception at the Chihuly Boathouse, 509 N.E. Northlake Way, Seattle; $150 (206-324-9996 or www.siff.net).
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, introduction and screening of “Keep On Keepin’ On” and award presentation at SIFF Cinema Uptown, 411 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle; $30-$35 (206-324-9996 or www.siff.net).
7 p.m. Thursday, June 5, introduction of pianist Justin Kauflin and his trio, performing at the Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle; $25 (206-838-4333 or www.thetripledoor.net).
4 p.m. Friday, June 6, introduction and screening of “Keep On Keepin’ On” at SIFF Cinema Uptown, 411 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle; $10-$12 (206-324-9996 or www.siff.net).
When Quincy Jones was going to Garfield High School, he used to get up early and run down to the Palomar Theatre if Count Basie was in town, to take a lesson from Basie’s trumpeter Clark Terry.
“That was almost 70 years ago,” Jones recalled, speaking on the phone from Los Angeles last week.
“I used to bug Clark to death. I’d get up at 6:30 in the morning to go get a lesson.”
The reason for the odd hour, as Terry explains in the new documentary about him, “Keep On Keepin’ On,” playing this week at the Seattle International Film Festival, is that Terry worked nights and slept days.
Jones, 81, served as a producer of “Keep on Keepin’ On” and is in town for four nights this week to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from SIFF and host a variety of other events.
On Tuesday, he’ll be at a SIFF screening of Sidney Lumet’s 1964 classic, “The Pawnbroker.”
Jones wrote a brilliantly jagged jazz score for the film, the first to credit an African American for its music.
Wednesday, he’ll take part in a conversation after a screening of the Terry film and be presented with the award.
On Thursday, he’ll be at the Triple Door to support an appearance at the downtown night club by young pianist Justin Kauflin, featured prominently in “Keep On Keepin’ On.”
And finally, on Friday, the seemingly indefatigable impresario will host a second screening of the film.
Jones and Terry (who is 93, in ill health and will not attend) have a long history.
After those ad hoc lessons as a teenager, Jones started his own big band and asked Terry to join, in 1959.
“He left Duke Ellington’s band and came and joined my band,” said Jones, still sounding somewhat astonished by his good fortune. “Can you imagine what that meant to me? My hero, man!”
Terry later became the first African-American studio musician at NBC. If you are of a certain age, you will remember him as part of the trumpet section for “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.”
A distinct stylist with a pert, carbonated sound, Terry is also famous for a comic, blues-singing routine called “Mumbles,” in which he sings nonsense in the most convincing way.
Terry and Jones have remained close; their most recent collaboration involves rapper Snoop Dogg.
Given that Jones was Terry’s first student, it is fitting that “Keep on Keepin’ On” focuses on his last.
Director Alan Hicks did not begin “Keep On Keepin’ On’” with that in mind. But during the filming, as Terry’s health declined — he recently had both legs amputated — and Kauflin, who is blind, made the semifinals of the prestigious Thelonious Monk competition, it seemed like the natural way to go.
In the film’s Sundance debut, Jones, who appears in the movie, said there were standing ovations.
“I cried all the way through it,” he said. “There is not one drop of (B.S.) in it. Everything in it is organic.”
Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org covers music at blogs.seattletimes.com/soundposts/, or follow him on Twitter @pdebarros.