Recently, from the heart of Nashville, a message landed in our inbox, carrying with it the urgency of a musical legend’s story that needs to be told. Clifford Koufman, a drummer, percussionist and visual artist, based in Music City, is embarking on an ambitious crowdfunding project. His mission? To fund a documentary that unveils the extraordinary life of the legendary drummer, Bob Moses.
Bob Moses, also known as Ra Kalam Bob Moses, stands as one of the true luminaries of our time. His drumming has graced many historic records, including Pat Metheny’s seminal 1976 ECM release “Bright Size Life,” and he has shared stages and studios with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Gary Burton, and more. His musical journey, deeply intertwined with the history of jazz and beyond, has left an indelible mark on the world of music. Yet, unlike many of Moses’ contempories, his impact on the genre has remained untold.
Moses’s upbringing reads like a jazz aficionado’s dream: he lived in a building that housed drumming legends Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Elvin Jones during his formative years. At just 13, he was already jamming with the likes of Charles Mingus. Unconstrained by the boundaries of any particular genre, Ra Kalam Bob Moses evolved from a mere music maker to a true innovator. His unique philosophy of “living music” transcends labels and has inspired countless musicians from diverse genres to find freedom in their expression.
Clifford Koufman’s connection with Bob Moses runs deep. “The most unconventional music lesson of my life led to this project,” says Koufman of his first drum lesson with Moses. Since that lesson, Koufman and Moses have spent almost twenty years cultivating a friendship and mentee mentor relationship that have inspired Koufman to share what he’s learned through film. As the creator of the YouTube series “ClifChats,” which has featured interviews with over 100 artists and creative influencers, Koufman is uniquely positioned to bring this project to fruition.
The urgency of this documentary project cannot be overstated. Ra Kalam Bob Moses has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, making it essential to document his incredible musical journey while we still have the privilege of his presence. The film will offer a profound look into his life, featuring on-stage performances, studio sessions, and personal interviews, along with insights from those who have known him intimately throughout his lifetime.
The documentary will traverse multiple locations to paint a comprehensive portrait of Moses’s life. Filming will take place in New Orleans from September 25th to October 1st, 2023, offering a glimpse into the city that has played a pivotal role in his career. The journey continues to New York, exploring the places and people that shaped his early life. Virginia holds a special place as well, where Ra Kalam will reunite with his guru and long-time collaborator, Tisziji, for a profound exploration of his musical roots.
The film will culminate with a performance, masterclass, and recording session in New Orleans in September. These events serve as touchpoints to educate and inspire audiences, as they witness the enduring impact of this musical luminary.
In New Orleans, Ra Kalam Bob Moses will be joined by a constellation of world-class musicians and legends in their own right. The lineup includes revered NOLA drummer Johnny Vidacovich, percussionist Bill Summers, and saxophonist Tony Dagradi, among others. Special appearances will be made by saxophonists Michael Adkins, Art Edmaiston, Jeff Coffin, and more.
Clifford Koufman’s mission is clear: to document the life and legacy of a cultural treasure while we still have the honor of his presence. This documentary aims to share Bob Moses’s story in his own words and secure his rightful place among the pantheon of music history.
As mentioned above, to secure the funding for the project Koufman is running a crowdfunding campaign on IndiGoGo. By backing the project yon help not only to ensure the making of the documentary but also receive a number of well thought-out rewards. You can find out more about the project and how to back it by clicking on the indiegogo link below.
So in closing, please take a look at the Indiegogo page (Click on the button Below) and if possible contribute or at least help to spread the word via your social networks. Hopefully we can help ensure that we can celebrate this remarkable artist’s contributions for generations to come. It’s a chance to be part of something truly special and meaningful in the world of jazz.
Featured Image by Ben James
Last modified: October 6, 2023