Saturday 8 December 2018 6pm: Hearing is Believing. Lorenzo DeStefano. 2017. UK Premiere. Hearing Is Believing, the new feature documentary from award-winning producer/director Lorenzo DeStefano (“Talmage Farlow”, “Los Zafiros-Music From The Edge Of Time”), introduces the world to the emerging international young musician and composer Rachel Flowers from the US. Born 15 weeks premature, at a body weight of one pound five ounces, Rachel became blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). At the age of two she began picking up melodies from her musician parents, proved to have perfect pitch, and was soon playing every song she heard by ear, including Bach fugues.
Starting her formal musical education at the age of 4, Rachel spent the next 10 years studying at the Southern California Conservatory of Music, while completing her mainstream education through elementary, middle, and high school. Her musical talent was spotted early, and she was featured in two episodes of 60 Minutes in 2005 and 2008, when she was 12 and 15 years old. Rachel has since shared the stage with Dweezil Zappa, Arturo Sandoval, Taylor Eigsti, Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Marc Bonilla, Jordan Rudess, Steve Porcaro, Rick Wakeman, Burt Bacharach, Bob Reynolds, Cuban legends Bobby Carcassés, Beloit Y Jazz Tumbata and Orlando ‘Maraca’ Valle, and the Birmingham (UK) Symphony Orchestra. She has performed for Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Herb Alpert and Wayne Shorter. Rachel is currently composing original songs and works for orchestra, jazz combo, piano and voice. She leads the Rachel Flowers Trio, featuring Jeff Falkner and Paul Tavenner.
DeStefano and his team have created a dynamic and engaging portrait of a year-and-a-half in the life of a tight-knit American family, a single mom and her two kids, living paycheck-to-paycheck in working-class Oxnard, California, with Rachel’s stunning music as the soundtrack. Hearing is Believing revels in Rachel’s joyous and free-flowing love of song, illuminating the bonds of family, the divine mysteries of creativity and the strength created through survival.
Appearing with Rachel in Hearing is Believing are Grammy winners Arturo Sandoval, Stevie Wonder, Dweezil Zappa, two-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist, Taylor Eigsti, the late Progressive Rock icon Keith Emerson, Hawaii ukulele master Benny Chong, and 50 members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony performing Rachel’s original composition, “At The End Of The Day”.
The screening celebrates this year’s Disability History Month theme of Music, and highlights the talents of Disabled women musicians, in a musical world where performance opportunities still go overwhelmingly to men.