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The Harlem in Havana Project

Fall 2014 E-News

Documentary Film News
Read the New Film Synopsis: 


JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana
In the untold story of an American ‘Jig Show’, intrepid road show producer Leon Claxton and his black and Cuban troupe navigate racial segregation and vie for the hearts of America’s changing popular culture to have the best outdoor attraction in North America. But will social revolutions in the U.S. and Cuba be the end of Harlem in Havana, one of the greatest variety shows of our time?  Read More.
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JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana
Selected for Fiscal Sponsorship by SDF!

We are excited to have the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) as our fiscal sponsor which will allow us to solicit funds from government, foundation, individual and other philanthropic sources that require IRS nonprofit status to provide donations to the project. These donations are then also tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Visit http://southerndocumentaryfund.org/projects/jig-show/ to donate to the project through SDF.

About SDF - The Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. Inspired by our core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community. Visit http://southerndocumentaryfund.org for more information.

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Film Music: 
Under A Memphis Sky  

An Interview with song composer, Gordon Tittsworth  What inspired you to write the song, Under A Memphis Sky, for the film? 
G: It all began after a long conversation with the filmmaker, Leslie Cunningham, about the specifics of the film.  I wanted to know what the actors, dancers, comedians, musicians, etc. were all going through at the time of the show.  I wanted to transport myself to the place and time and really try to see and hear everything as they did. At that point, I wanted to let inspiration take over.  Well, it did and it was an intense experience.  I let everything sort of “pour out” and I felt as if I were surrounded by very positive energy sending me inspiration from beyond.  I feel like there are/were many people who really want (and need) this story to be told.  This helped me in arranging the song.  I usually feel a greater meta-physical connection when I am in the “inspiration” zone.  This was no exception.

Why is the film important to you as a musician? 
G:
I connected with the film theme immediately. The Harlem in Havana story is an epic piece of American history that needs to be tol
d. On top of that, this is a major story of triumph and perseverance.  As a musician, I can totally relate.  These entertainers and musicians had to struggle through adversity and they came through victorious in the end. This is a major inspiration!

What do you hope people will take away from the song after hearing it in the film? 

G: I felt as if I was a part of bringing something to life when writing Under a Memphis Sky. I wanted to convey the feeling of actually being in that time period as much as I could, understand it and bring it to life today.  I only hope that people can feel the positivity of this legacy and I hope the inspiration is infectious.  I am honored to be a part of this amazing piece of American history.
DONATE TO THE FILM 

Film Status:

Research and development on the film project has been completed. We are now raising funds to complete production by 2015.
Visit jigshow.com to learn more. 

Watch for our Kickstarter Crowd Funding Campaign Coming Soon!

 
 

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Photo by Larry Peterson, a former musician on the Harlem Revue in the 1960s, visiting the Royal American Shows exhibit at the Museum of the American Carnival, Gibsonton, Florida.

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