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Long Wharf Theatre Hosts Screening Of UNSUNG HEROES 9/22-10/17


New Haven once had a great local jazz scene, one featuring iconic performers sharing their unique musical talents. Time, changing tastes, urban renewal and other things has since made that scene a fond, distant memory.

Those memories are preserved in the documentary Unsung Heroes, a chronicle of the city's vibrant post-World War II jazz scene, which will be screened at Long Wharf Theatre in conjunction with Ella the Musical, running from Sept. 22 through Oct. 17 on the Mainstage.

The screening will take place on Monday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. on Stage II. There is a suggested donation of $10. There will be a post-screening discussion of the film.

Unsung Heroes tells the story of local musicians, playing in big bands and small ensembles at small New Haven clubs like Lillian's Paradise, The Playback, The Musicians Club, The Democratic Club, the Golden Gate and the fondly remembered Monterey, a famous nightspot located on Dixwell Avenue. The importance of New Haven as a stop on the jazz circuit allowed those local musicians to perform with the likes of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and others. Ella Fitzgerald herself gave a private jam session at the Monterey on a stop off between Boston and New York.

After the screening, participants in the city's golden age of jazz in New Haven, will get together for fascinating conversation, telling tales of an age when iconic performers graced the city's stages. The conversation will feature musician Jesse Hameen; jazz vocalist Lucille Little Mapp; Doug Morrill, president of Jazz Haven; and Delores Greenlee, the daughter of the owner of the famed Monterey, Allen Williams, a bartender at the club, among others. Director Rebecca Abbott, a Quinnipiac University professor and director of the film, will also be on hand for the talkback.

For more information about the event or about the upcoming production of Ella, call 203-787-4282 or visit

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