Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Alan Hicks, Keep On Keepin’ On depicts a 23 year-old, blind piano prodigy, Justin Kauflin, and jazz music legend and 89 year-old teacher Clark Terry. After a life spent working with and teaching the most totemic figures in jazz history, Terry continues to attract and cultivate budding talents. Terry was Quincy Jones’ first teacher and a mentor to Miles Davis. He is among the few performers ever to have played in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands. In the ‘60s Terry broke the colour barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC on The Tonight Show.
Keep On Keepin’ On highlights Terry’s friendship with the preternaturally gifted Justin Kauflin, who suffers from debilitating stage fright. Not long after Kauflin is invited to compete in an elite jazz competition, Terry’s health takes a turn for the worse. As the clock ticks, the two friends confront the toughest challenges of their lives.