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synopsis

Tres noies cantant

Sant Andreu Jazz Band is a project arising from a music class. Conducted by Joan Chamorro, the big band brings together children between 6 and 18 years old, around a classic jazz repertoire with lots of swing, which gained the public and sold-out some of the most important music auditoriums in Spain.

This documentary is a journey led by the orchestra director, which immerses us in a unique teaching method as unique as the results it unveils. A story that will thrill us with these kids’ staging talent and touch us through all sort of sensations that only they are able to bring to life.

On this journey they are joined by Jesse Davis, Terell Stafford and Wycliffe Gordon, American musicians admired by all jazz music lovers that feed the spirit of young talent careers as Elsa, that with only 6 years old plays trumpet like an angel.

Approach

The narrative goal the director has set is to allow the viewer to see through the keyhole, to capture the time and nature of the rehearsals, the performance of the group, the hours of personal sacrifice, the character and personality of the children and especially of their teacher, the leading character of this story.

The narrative structure is dominated by music, the main subject of the documentary. Music is the tool our characters have chosen to communicate and to express themselves.

We want the viewer to be the leading player and storyteller of this film, drawing its own conclusions, being surrounded with the rehearsals atmosphere, the private lessons, the children’s environment, the tours…

On stage is where the children and the director show their magic and hold us captive. The documentary alternates two live shows in emblematic auditoriums of Barcelona: Palau de la Música and Plaça Catalunya, with its previous preparation.

Without words, we comprehend their performance and communicative abilities.

They are accompanied by American the musicians Jesse Davis, Terell Stafford and Wycliffe Gordon and by established local musicians as Ricard Gili or Esteve Pi.

Joan Chamorro

Joan Chamorro, the conductor, is the true core of the documentary. We want people to know that this exciting project is the result of his work in a local music school, and the children have not been submitted to any cast to take part of this orchestra.

The documentary reveals his unique personality and allows us to understand his unique teaching method.

Iscle, Alba, Andrea, Magalí, Elsa, Eva, Edu… We follow some of the orchestra members. Their learning process and attitudes are shown to us through observation.

Director's statement

I. I need to express my admiration for the overwhelming humanity and talent that has surrounded me over these past few months, and to talk about the challenge of trying to convey what one can only be grasped when experienced nearby; the difficulty of telling a story that unfolds around you, or trying to hold water between one’s hands.

Vital energy, viscera, tenderness, sweat, joy, but above all love: an irritating word when used gratuitously, but which has made me cry throughout this project.

The past 15 months we have shared together impel me to declare my unconditional love for these individuals who have inspired me to see fatherhood as a challenge, as an opportunity for redemption, who have asked me to believe in the crystalline eye and in the value of innocence. These people have made me want to bring back my childhood.

I need to say that I count myself in among those who kneel before so much virtue and sacrifice… my team and I, who have become parallel shadows, have seen with devout eyes. We have been seduced by the endless vitality and patience that these children and their mentor are able to generate.

II. In 2009, I was filming a live concert by the Sant Andreu Band for a DVD recording. The concert was at the Palau de la Música, in Barcelona, which was packed and had been sold out. When Alba Armengou, who was then 7 years old, finished the final phrase of the chorus When you’re smiling and began playing the trumpet, the Palau stood in awe, the whispers became an ovation and I, with tears in my eyes, stopped filming… at that moment I understood the need to begin this journey… the magical connection of these children with the audience, everything they give, they convey, encourage us to see and find out more in order to try and answer the questions raised when one faces something so mesmerizing.

cast

Joan Chamorro

JOAN CHAMORRO

He is the guru, the visionary, who has invested his time, effort, enthusiasm and energy, to make this project come to life. He is a professional musician and teacher with over 20 years of experience. He has recorded over 30 albums with some of the world most famous jazz musicians. He has done long international tours with bands such as Manhattan Transfer and musicians as Stevie Wonder, Tete Montoliu, Eladio Reinón…

He started the Sant Andreu Jazz Band project, as a combo school class at the Sant Andreu municipal music school (Barcelona, Spain) in 2006, with only 7 children, most of them his sax students.

In 2009, he decided to record a live CD/DVD album that became very successful and the project started turning into something more and more popular.

Alba Armengou

THE CHILDREN

  • Elsa Armengou (6) – trumpet
  • Alba Armengou (9) – trumpet and voice
  • Alba Esteban (11) – saxo
  • Edu Ferrer (12) – saxo and voice
  • Joan Martí (12) – saxo
  • Max Tato (12) – trombone
  • Carla Motis (13) – guitar, ukelele and banjo
  • Magalí Datzira (14) – bass and voice
  • Paula Berzal (14) – trombone and voice
  • Andrea Motis (16) – trumpet, saxo and voice
  • Iscle Datzira (16) – saxo
  • Eva Fernández (16) – saxo and voice
  • Jaume Ferrer (16) – saxo
  • Carles Vàzquez (16) – saxo
  • Dani Téllez (16) – trombone
  • Marc Martínez (16) – piano
  • Raúl Castro (17) – trombone and tuba
  • Martí Ibáñez (17) – saxo
  • Pablo Fernández (18) – trumpet
  • Arnau Julià (19) – drums

Director

Ramón Tort

RAMON TORT

L'Arboç, Catalonia 1975

Director, screenwriter and producer. Since 2004 is professionally engaged to audiovisual direction, founding the divinoconcepto collective. His professional activity focuses on publicity and documentation of art processes. In 2006 decides to focus on making documentaries and starts personal projects with the aim of finding a personal communicative language. Towards the end of 2010 starts shooting A film about Kids and Music. Sant Andreu Jazz Band, after being amazed by this orchestra. In 2011 he began filming a documentary in two installments about the elasticity and the perception of time. Filmed in Morocco and US, both parts will be a sensory and organic journey through two culturally and geographically distant realities, the transhumance in the Eastern Atlas and the rural life in Texas, measured with the same look approach.

Jesse Davis

JESSE DAVIS
(guest star)

"The jazz community worldwide is gonna thank you one day. What you’ve done is a great service to this music. And from the bottom of my heart, a great service to this music."

Jesse Davis is a worldwide reference jazz saxophonist. Born in New Orleans, he is the natural heir to Charlie Parker. He currently lives in Italy.

Wycliffe Gordon

WYCLIFFE GORDON (guest star)

“I think it should be documented, and it can be send around the world and say ‘hey, this is what we are doing here’. And the age ranges from six or seven to sixteen or seventeen… we don’t really see that in the USA, and I travelled all over the world… ”

Wycliffe Gordon is a very unique trombonist. His music is really impressive. Born in Waynesboro, Georgia 1967, he was introduced to music by his late father, Lucius Gordon, a classical pianist and teacher. He discovered the trombone at age 12 when his older brother began playing it in junior high school band. Wycliffe Gordon received the Jazz Journalists Association Award for Trombonist of the Year on 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2002 and 2001.

Terell Straford

TERELL STAFFORD (guest star)

“I think it should be documented, and it can be send around the world and say ‘hey, this is what we are doing here’. And the age ranges from six or seven to sixteen or seventeen… we don’t really see that in the USA, and I travelled all over the world… so to document that and send it to different...”

One of the greatest music players of our time, Terell Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.

DIVINOCONCEPTO

In 2004, film director Ramon Tort starts a collaboration project with independent professionals from the audiovisual industry under the name divinoconcepto. Over the last years, various projects result from these collaborations:

Fiction
2004 - Sota un sistema incoherent
Videodance
2006 – Rec on construction. Short film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
Videoclips
2007 – Close your eyes. Barcelona Jazz Orchestra. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2009 - El vestit. Els nens eutròfics. Directed by Roberto C. Corrales, Oliver García and Ramon Tort.
2012 - Hallelujah. Andrea Motis and Joan Chamorro. Directed by Ramon Tort.
Documentaries
2006 – Hom. Feature film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2007 – Una mar de ciment. Feature film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2007 – Xicots! Medium-lenght film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2011 – Ayurveda: la ciencia de la larga vida y la salud. Short film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2012 – A film about Kids and Music. Sant Andreu Jazz Band. Feature film. Directed by Ramon Tort.
2013 – Sota un cel. Feature film. Directed by Ramon Tort. (in post production)