Odds are unless you were in it, you can’t remember more than one song your high school mand ever performed. And it’s a good enough guess to say you could do without hearing those songs again. But what if your high school band still had a following 40 years after you graduated?
The question is not a hypothetical for the Kashmere High School whose story is being retold on the big screen by Jamie Foxx in the documentary “Thunder Soul.”
The story of the rise of the student band from northeast Houston is a captivating one. Compiled of bandmaster Conrad Johnson’s students, the Kashmere Stage Band brought together crushed velvet suits, matching platforms and original composition that harkened more James Brown that homecoming background sounds.
The Kashmere Stage Band gained notoriety within student competitions and music festivals (winning 42 of their 46 competitions) but they also gained success in the commercial music world as well. Count Bassie once said of them that they were the best school band he’d ever heard.
Now, 35 years later, former members of the band have come together to honor their former bandmaster, Conrad, and reminisce on the years that changed their lives and the world of funk, jazz and soul. The film, narrated by Foxx, has won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Pan African Film Festival. It is slated for release nationwide on September 23rd.
Check out the trailer here and tell us what you think.
Clutchettes, what do you think of “Thunder Soul”? Will you be adding it to your list of flicks to see?