Bringing good cheer for the holidays, Béla Fleck and his brother, director Sascha Paladino, will be hosting a live screening of their acclaimed documentary film Throw Down Your Heart on Friday, December 11, at 7:00pm ET via Facebook Live and YouTube. The free event, in association with NPR Live Sessions, the Americana Music Association and co-presenter Folk Alliance International, will include an introduction from Béla followed by an interactive Q&A with Béla joined by Sascha.
Released earlier this year, Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions is the comprehensive film and music collection from Béla Fleck’s remarkable journey across Africa to explore the roots of the banjo. The expanded collection includes the three-time GRAMMY®-winning albums Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3—Africa Sessions and Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks, as well as a previously unreleased duo album with kora master Toumani Diabaté, titled The Ripple Effect. The package also offers the complete film Throw Down Your Heart, with commentary from Fleck and Paladino, along with 14 bonus performances.
The 3-CD/1-DVD boxed set, also available digitally, has been nominated for the 2021 Best Historical Album GRAMMY® Award.
“It’s about damn time somebody drew the line back!” – Pete Seeger
“This is a story of how Béla Fleck, America’s most celebrated banjoist, went on a quest in search of his musical soul mate’s African roots—and wound up discovering himself… Throw Down Your Heart is not just a stunning documentary and soundtrack, but an important work of artistic memory and conscience.” – Los Angeles Times
“Traditional African music turns out to suit him beautifully… At every turn Mr. Fleck works respectfully, learning and adapting, trusting sameness over difference.”
– The New York Times
“…a dazzling film. Throw Down Your Heart is proof positive that music is life.” – Michael McKean
“With Throw Down Your Heart, Béla Fleck has contributed significantly to the history of the banjo, as well as inventing a style of music never before played on this great instrument.”
– Steve Martin
“Throw Down Your Heart speaks to your heart all along the way, making the case, subtly but clearly, that we are connected… A beautiful, poignant and well-crafted film.” – Zakir Hussain
“…inspiring, touching, and filled with moments that celebrate life. The connection between music and the essence of human existence has been beautifully captured…”
– Christopher Guest
“Today in the world everything seems to be about quantity, but I think the quality is the most important thing. This film is quality. I learned things that I did not know about Africa and African music. It will help social and cultural development... people without culture are people without soul!”
– Toumani Diabaté
“It’s the living of a dream. The genuine warmth, affinity, respect and love between Béla and the amazing African musicians he met is beautifully captured. Very inspiring and uplifting.”
– Chick Corea
“I thought it was so strange and moving and beautiful.” – Neil Gaiman
“Love the movie! Beautiful and inspiring. In some of those improvs I asked myself, ‘How did he ever figure out where ‘one’ was?’... Great playing, and a stunning documentary.” – Joe Satriani
“Throw Down Your Heart is a passionate exploration of music and the connections it seems to instantly and effortlessly form between cultures. Hooray for Béla Fleck for packing up his banjo and taking it to Africa.” – Ann Patchett
“It completely blew me away. I don’t think I have ever seen such a complete musician at work, what a joy it was to behold.” – Billy Connolly