Synopsis by Mark Deming
Béla Fleck is one of the world's most acclaimed banjo players and a musician who has sought to expand the boundaries of his instrument, having won awards for classical recordings and his many albums with the innovative jazz group Béla Fleck & the Flecktones as well as the bluegrass music most commonly associated with the banjo. The banjo has its origins in Africa, and Fleck traveled to the continent to study the instrument's history and collaborate with native musicians. Filmmaker Sascha Paladino joined Fleck for his journey, and Throw Down Your Heart is a documentary which follows the banjo virtuoso as he travels through Gambia, Mali, Tanzania, and Uganda, meeting with historians and musicologists and making music with artists from all walks of life, ranging from world music stars like Bassekou Kouyate and Oumou Sangare to ordinary people who share the love and joy of making music. Throw Down Your Heart was an official entry at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival.
Africa, banjo, folk-music, history, musician