Chances are you’ve never heard of the Kashmere Stage Band, but thanks to Jamie Foxx and this stellar documentary, the Houston-based former high school funk band is finally getting the recognition they deserve. The band, from the predominately black Kashmere Gardens neighborhood, ran from the late 60’s to the late 70’s.
With robust narration, a story is told through interviews with the former band members decades after taking part in the groundbreaking ensemble and racking up wins at various band competitions. The film is surprisingly touching, coming off as truly genuine. The film focuses on the members coming together in 2008 to honor their former band leader and mentor “Prof” Johnson – now in his 90’s – by playing a reunion show for him.
Though it’s clear it’s almost as much for them as well. The members, all in their 50’s now, share stories through laughter and often tears, getting to the heart of what “Prof” meant to them. To here at least one former student tell it, he was the first real strong male role model many of them ever had.
Backed by a phenomenal funk soundtrack, Thunder Soul is hard to ignore.
Thunder Soul/Miramax and Lionsgate/88 mins./2012