A glimpse of Rollins’ life

2014-05-02 00:00

JAZZ fans have the chance to catch a film about legendary saxophone player Sonny Rollins at the Jazzy Rainbow, on the corner of Goble and Windermere roads in Durban tomorrow.

The film, Beyond The Notes, is being screened by the new South African production company iSangoma Productions, run by Gugulethu oka­Mseleku, from Lamontville, the daughter of Durban’s first film school founder, Pinkie Mseleku, who died unexpectedly in 2008. A co-production between BBC Arts Strand, Arena and the South African co-owned BeBop Productions, a London-based production company, the film is built around Rollins’s 80th birthday concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York. It follows the journey of his life and features some of the best jazz talent around today, including Roy Haynes, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Sammy Figueroa, Bob Cranshaw and Jim Hall.

“I’m so pleased to premiere this wonderful film in Durban. Sonny’s story has a very powerful message for all of us, a message of hope and determination,” okaMseleku told The Witness.

“My mum and my uncle, Bheki Mseleku, loved Sonny Rollins’s music and my uncle had a deep respect for him. They’d be so proud if they were alive to see this film.”

Directed by British and American film guru Dick Fontaine, who recently left Durban for London, the film coincides with the release this month of Rollins’s long-awaited record Road Shows 3. It features performances from the film.

Saturday’s screening will include a performance from maskandi legend Madala Kunene, and new Mseleku family songstress DemiMa. The premiere will start at 7 pm.

— Arts Editor.

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