Thursday, February 25, 2021

View the HARLEM IN HAVANA Collectors edition online!

(IPad, PDF or Web Viewer)

The Harlem in Havana Collector's Edition features 28 original pages taken directly from the show's annual program booklets in 1955, 1958 and 1959. Showcasing outstanding cast members, including Micki Lynn, The Five Pennies and the Cuban Dancing Dolls, some of the pages in this special edition include autographs from the entertainers themselves!  View now. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

JIG SHOW!? Brown-Skinned Showgirls, One Legged Tappers, and a Lucumi Ritual Dance. Celebrating Black History Month.


New documentary film series shines a spotlight on Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana and a little-known aspect of African American culture. Meet the unknown pioneers who helped shape Black and Cuban entertainment during Jim Crow. Watch Part One in Celebration of Black History Month!

DURHAM, N.C. - Feb. 22, 2021 - PRLog -- Step right up, folks! The last remaining great Black troupers are finally telling their stories about one of America's most successful traveling shows that broke carnival records from the U.S. to Western Canada, birthed music icons like Rufus Thomas, Fontella Bass and Mercedes Vald├ęs, and significantly impacted Black and Latin entertainment during the Jim Crow era. Also unearthed is the legend of one of Tampa's most beloved showman, Leon Claxton Sr., a brave African-American impresario who left an extraordinary legacy despite the insurmountable odds against him and his dreams. Read more now.  

Monday, February 15, 2021

Leon Claxton depicted in West Tampa Mural

Photo credit: Traci Cunningham

Producer Leon Claxton's legacy continues to live on in the city of Tampa, Florida. His image has been depicted in a new West Tampa Mural titled "Faces of West Tampa" created by artists: Illsol (Tony Krol, Michelle Sawyer). The mural is located at Salcines Park, West Tampa, 1705 N Howard Ave. Tampa.gov states - Faces of West Tampa pays homage to the diverse history of West Tampa by showcasing many of the area’s historic figures, elements, and places of historic significance that represent the West Tampa area.  Read more



Sunday, February 14, 2021

About The Harlem in Havana Project

The Harlem in Havana Project is a multimedia documentary project created by artist and documentarian Leslie Cunningham in honor of Leon Claxton's Black and Cuban stage production, The Harlem in Havana revue, one of America's most successful traveling shows that significantly impacted American entertainment in ways that still resonate with wonder today. 

This project aims to revive Harlem in Havana's rich entertainment history through a variety of thought-provoking content, including this website, a documentary film and the Brown-Skin Showgirls photography books.  

Harlem in Havana was the place where the future heavyweights of entertainment birthed new music, dance and comedy. This documentary project provides an opportunity for a whole segment of artists and performances to tap into this history and enhance their current art forms. Back then it was a “colored” variety show with performance pieces, but today’s it’s an art form. This is where that history originated. Learn more


View our online photo gallery


 

Featuring nearly 50 never-before digitized images from Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana revue.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Watch Part One of JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana!

Watch Part One now! 

 

    View the film trailer above. 
    Watch Part One on VIMEO On-Demand! 

    We're giving $1 from every online order to Stand Up Speak Out - NC. SUSO. 

    Film series viewing page and schedule: 

    • Part 1: Friday, February 5, 2021 (Celebrating Black History Month). Filmmaker Leslie Cunningham and her family take viewers on a personal tour of the world-famous Harlem in Havana Revue, a so-called "Jig Show".
    • Part 2: Friday, April 2, 2021 (Happy Birthday Leon Claxton!) Get ready to ride on train car #66 and watch the brown-skin showgirls take the stage!
    • Part 3: Friday, June 4, 2021 (Celebrating Juneteenth! ) Claxton leaves an indelible mark on the city of Tampa, Florida, where Harlem in Havana was headquartered for nearly 20 years. 

    Series distribution platform: Vimeo is a video hosting, sharing, and services platform. Learn how to watch On-Demand Videos 

    All live screenings are postponed until further notice. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Premieres February 5, 2021- JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana - Watch the trailer.


In celebration of Black History Month 2021-  PART 1 of JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana will premiere on Friday, February 5 at 8:00pm PST/ 11:00pm EST. Pre-order the full 3-part film series now or wait and purchase each part the day it releases. View the film series schedule here