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Unsung Heroes: Jazz Music In New Haven



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Unsung Heroes: Jazz Music In New Haven

HARTFORD — New Haven’s jazz music heritage is explored in Connecticut Public Television’s newest CPTV original, Unsung Heroes: Jazz Music in New Haven. The documentary will air on CPTV on Wednesday, January 24, at 11 pm, immediately following Ken Burns’ highly acclaimed series Jazz. Unsung Heroes celebrates New Haven’s jazz history from the 1940s and 50s to the present day.

CPTV can be seen on Charter Communications Channel 12.

Unsung Heroes: Jazz Music in New Haven showcases the legacy of New Haven’s jazz community, weaving the personal narratives of musicians and their families within the context of the city’s social and political history. It presents oral histories from individuals who played influential roles in the evolution of jazz music in New Haven, along with photographs, films and video images from personal and historical archives.

A focal point of the special is the period after World War II which lasted for several decades, during which many Connecticut musicians developed national and regional prominence. Willie Ruff, Horace Silver, Bill Evans, Artie Shaw, John “Count” Steadwell, the Buster brothers, Ed Cercone, Teddy Wilson, Dickie Meyers and a host of others played in big bands and small ensembles at legendary New Haven clubs like Lillian’s Paradise on Hamilton Street, The Playback on Winchester Avenue, Turf Club, McTriff’s and Monterey.

The Monterey in particular symbolizes the significance of New Haven to the jazz music scene. Created by one of the city’s greatest citizens – Rufus Greenlee – The Monterey epitomized the best of New Haven music and culture during that time. New Haven was important stop in the performance circuit. Testimonies of many musicians or their surviving family members bring the story of that time vividly to life.

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