Jelly’s Last Jam, originally starred Gregory Hines on Broadway as the troubled jazz music legend Jelly Roll Morton. A Creole man, Jelly, claimed to be “the inventor of jazz,” yet denied the cultural and artistic roots of his Black heritage. When visited on the eve of his death by the Chimney Man, an otherworldly stranger, Jelly is forced to replay the high and low notes of his life from the his Southern roots in New Orleans to his migration North to Chicago and New York, riding the wave of his music through the 20s and 30s. Through this journey Jelly revisits the family, friends, loves and communities that nourished him, rejected him and, ultimately, helped make his music what it is. Jelly’s Last Jam is a jazz-filed, blues-soaked, high-energy ride tracing one man’s transformation through magic, dance, death and music.
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