Quincy Jones, Will.i.am, John Legend and more celebrate the transcendent musical achievements of Sérgio Mendes in the trailer for the new documentary about the legendary Brazilian musician, In the Key of Joy.
The clip opens with Mendes, in a voiceover, proclaiming his affection for a particular word in English, “Serendipity,” saying, “That’s the story of my life.” For the most part, the trailer lets Mendes’ music do the talking: soundtracked to his hit “Mas Que Nada,” it’s packed with archival footage of Mendes with his band, Brasil ’66, as well as a slew of legendary musicians, such as Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder. It also boasts more recent footage of Mendes in the studio with Will.i.am.
The trailer features testimonials from plenty of music giants, too. Quincy Jones proclaims, “Sérgio put the gumbo together and it worked,” and Will.i.am praises Mendes as a “translator” who brought what was happening in Brazil to the world.
In a statement, Mendes spoke specifically about working with Will.i.am, saying, “As you’ll see in the film, one of the many moments of serendipity in my life involved Will.i.am. Like me, he is very curious, very open minded, always looking for something fresh, innovative, different. Working with Will changed my life.”
In the Key of Joy was directed by John Scheinfeld, who previously helmed documentaries on musicians like Harry Nilsson, John Lennon and John Coltrane. Scheinfeld said of his intentions for his film about Mendes: “I felt strongly that this film must be a counterpoint to the darkness sweeping out of Washington and to the polarizing political stories dominating the cultural landscape. This documentary is high energy and joyous and will uplift, inspire and bring the audiences together exactly as does Sergio’s music. I truly believe it is the right film at the right time.”
In the Key of Joy will premiere January 18th at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where Mendes will perform a special three-song set and participate in a Q&A with Scheinfled.