Flow: Living in the Stream of Music, the critically-acclaimed documentary that follows world-renowned film composer and trumpet player Terence Blanchard and his band on a stunning round-the world musical journey, has garnered a nomination for Best Long-form Music Video in the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. Executive-produced by Robin Burgess and Directed by Jim Gabour, the low-budget, high-concept ninety-minute film was selected by NARAS voters from a list of almost three hundred music industry entries to end-up in the final five official nominees. The Best Long-form Music Video Grammy, honoring the year's best music DVD over twenty minutes long from any genre of music, will be awarded during this year's worldwide television broadcast from Los Angeles on Sunday, February 11, 2007.
Blanchard, Burgess and Gabour, all based out of New Orleans , celebrated the nomination as one more example of the cultural rebirth of their home city Hurricane Katrina occurred just as they were returning from a two-week stint in Japan in the middle of the film's production. Forced to evacuate from their New Orleans homes for months, they continued to document the musicians' evolution on the road, and the result is a cinematic tour-de-force.
Filmed over the course of an entire year, Flow: Living in the Stream of Music is part travelogue and part concert, an incredibly engaging documentation of Terence and his band of amazingly talented musicians as they prepare and perform before sold-out audiences on four continents. From an intimate club in Paris to a huge venue in Tokyo; from the street scenes of Cape Town, South Africa, to the swimming-pool-studded canyons of Los Angeles where the film provides a behind-the-scenes look at Terence's scoring session for his 38th film - Spike Lee's box-office smash Inside Man, Flow: Living in the Stream of Music documents the mentoring and growth of what many critics are calling one of the premiere jazz bands of our time. Flow: Living in the Stream of Music was filmed in HD Video and was released on DVD by JAZZIZ Music & Video in conjunction with Warner/Ryko.
Sharing titles with his recently-released double-Grammy-nominated CD Flow (Blue Note), Flow: Living in the Stream of Music (Warner/Ryko) aims to both entertain and enlighten its audience, and for a musician like Terence Blanchard, Flow is about finding the moment when the struggle finally seems worthwhile, when all the years of study and work make sense. At the start of Flow: Living in the Stream of Music, Blanchard happily speculates that he may have finally assembled the perfect creative unit, a band that grows individually, and simultaneously as a group. Says Blanchard laughing, "It's given me new life, piqued my curiosity, made me work hard again to really try to redefine myself, to develop and just be an artist."
Blanchard and his incredibly innovative band (Brice Winston/sax, Lionel Loueke/guitar, Aaron Parks/piano, Derrick Hodge/bass, and Kendrick Scott/drums) nightly push the musical edge, creating new music that touches the souls of audiences. But the exotic settings serve to frame the human background of the very real, daily lives of six musicians, constantly on the move physically and creatively. The camera unobtrusively records the personal evolution of the musicians as they individually deal with both the rigors and the excitement of the road, and then each night climb on stage for an even larger musical adventure.
During the film's final segment, Terence invites the public to see the other half of his musical life for the very first time, leading audiences into the famed ToddAO Recording Studios in Los Angeles where he recorded the score for Inside Man (Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment), starring Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Clive Owen and Willem Dafoe. Terence not only called upon the talents of his band, but utilized the symphonic strengths of an 80-piece orchestra to create what was hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as "Almost a character in itself, commenting on situations, holding back for others, then swelling expressively when circumstances warrant."
2006 has been an incredibly prolific and exciting year for Blanchard on a number of levels. Flow, his critically-acclaimed CD, was the recipient of two Grammy nominations, and in addition to his ground-breaking film score for Inside Man, Blanchard also wrote the score for When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts, HBO's four-hour documentary about the ravages incurred upon New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina directed by Spike Lee. Simultaneously stunning, incendiary and heartbreaking, Levees has been hailed as one of the most important documentaries of all time. According to Newsweek, "Spike lets Terence Blanchard's thundering brass score, dizzy with grief, do the speaking for him…in one of the film's most wrenching scenes, Blanchard visits the wreckage of his boyhood home with his aging mother."
Terence was a featured panelist at this year's Sundance Film Festival (he will also perform at the upcoming festival in 2007) and served as a keynote speaker at the Billboard Film and Television Music Conference in November. Flow: Living In The Stream of Music is scheduled to screen at various film festivals throughout 2006/2007, and has been touted as an engaging documentation of what it means to commit to a life in music, a landmark educational film for young people and for anyone of any age facing the uncertain prospect of a career as a musician. "The overriding goal in what we do," says Blanchard, "is to stop being musicians and start being the music."