Step Right Up, Folks! Watch the trailer for JIG SHOW!

Documentary filmmaker Leslie Cunningham is making the film that has become her life’s work. Nearly ten years in creation, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana is preparing for big screens around the globe in 2020. Watch the extended trailer now!

In JIG SHOW, Cunningham and a cast of colorful characters take viewers on a personal tour of her grandfather’s iconic Black and Cuban stage revue that broke carnival records across the U.S. and Western Canada, birthed music icons Rufus Thomas, Fontella Bass and Mercedes Valdés, and significantly impacted Black and Latin entertainment during Jim Crow. Also unearthed is the life and lore of producer Leon Claxton, a brave African-American showman who left an extraordinary legacy despite the insurmountable odds against him and his dreams.

The film trailer showcases the iconic outdoor revue through breathtaking never-before-digitized show photographs, rarely seen historical clips and on-interviews with former performers, past patrons, historians and academics who bring their perspective to the conversation. The trailer also features classic and new music that honor Claxton, one of Tampa’s most beloved showmen, the voluptuous brown-skin showgirls and tenacious entertainers of color who bravely showcased their talents on the front-line of racial polarization and left an indelible mark on entertainment around the globe.

The feature documentary film is part of a larger body of documentary work called The Harlem in Havana Project, a transmedia project Cunningham started to help revive the show’s rich history through a variety of thought-provoking content, including:

“This project is guaranteed to expand your knowledge of the Black and Cuban performers that shaped American entertainment before television. Above all else, my goal is to rescue this arts and entertainment history from death and insert “Harlem in Havana” and the story of the traveling ‘jig show’ into the narrative of American popular culture before these memories and artifacts die with the individuals that carry them”, says Cunningham.

View the film media kit here. Learn more at jigshow.com.

Contact the filmmaker at lesliecunninghamfilms@gmail.com or info@harleminhavana.com.