10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

Keep on Keepin’ on (2015 Feature Film)

Alan Hicks | USA | 2014 | 84 min | English

Intimate portrait of legendary jazz musician Clark Terry and his role as mentor to musical greats such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. The latest beneficiary being the young, blind pianist Justin Kauflin. Even when the by now well over 90-year old Terry falls ill, the two become energised by their music sessions.

Jazz musician Clark Terry is a lot less famous than the greats he taught. From Miles Davis to Quincy Jones: many jazz legends were discovered and helped on their way by him. His role as mentor and inspirer is central to this loving portrait of a musician who, even now his body is ailing and he is over 90-year old, still teaches with passionate energy.

Pianist Justin Kauflin, for instance. At the start of the film, the then 23-year-old, blind Kauflin is on the brink of success. Clark gently shows him the way, supports him when possible and encourages him. During long, night-time sessions the two play to their heart’s content even when Terry is confined to a hospital bed. Terry is revived when he works on music.

Debut director Alan Hicks, a jazz drummer, was one of Terry’s students for years. The intimate relationship resulted in a uniquely personal portrait of a musician who lives for his art.

Place: The Cinemas 3

Date: 26 March 2015

Time: 19:00

Duration: 1:30

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 27 March 2015

Time: 22:15

Duration: 1:30

Place: The Cinemas 1

Date: 29 March 2015

Time: 11:00

Duration: 1:30

Year in



Alan Hicks


Adam Hart




Davis Coombe




84 min


Justin Kauflin


Paula DuPré Pesmen
Quincy Jones


Davis Coombe
Alan Hicks

Year of Production


Alan HICKS (Australia) was a surfer and musician before he became a filmmaker. He toured the world drumming for various jazz bands and studied with legendary trumpet player Clark Terry. He subsequently spent five years working on his debut Keep on Keepin’ on, a prize-drenched documentary about the life and work of his mentor.



Keep on Keepin’ on (2014, doc)