The Grand Theatre presents a special screening of LITTLE SATCHMO on Thursday, March 31st at 7:15 PM. Admission is $5.00. Doors open at 6:00 PM. Tickets sales at the box office or order tickets here.
To the world, Louis Armstrong is iconic – a symbol of musical genius, unparalleled success and unassailable character. To Sharon, he was simply Dad.
There was never a time in Sharon’s childhood that Louis Armstrong wasn’t a part of it, but a mention of this relationship never ventured further than the confines of immediate family. Amid the public fanfare surrounding Ambassador Satch, no one, save for close family and friends, knew Sharon existed. Despite the enduring celebration and study of Armstrong’s life and career, evidence and indications of Sharon’s relationship with her father were ignored and excluded from his historical record. Even in the trumpeter’s death she remained Armstrong’s secret, the product of a two-decade-long affair between the long-married musician, and the Harlem-born vaudeville dancer Lucille “Sweets” Preston. For more than half a century, Sharon continued to keep the family secret, living her life hiding in the shadows of her father’s fame.
While this is a documentary that undeniably involves Louis Armstrong, it is told from his daughter’s perspective, as a child growing into a woman, a voice which had not been granted the freedom to be heard for years, systematically left off record for the protection of her father, and one that resonates far and wide with its themes of searching for belonging, pride, and shame. A voice amid the millions of children who have grown up in fatherless households, hungry for a certain understanding of their own blood, their heritage, and legacy to carry forward.
JOHN ALEXANDER DIRECTOR PROFILE
After interning with Sam Raimi on Drag Me to Hell (Cannes 2009), Alexander graduated from Harvard in 2011, where he won the McCord Arts Prize. He edited One Way to Drown, executive produced by Brett Ratner, Running Wild, starring Alden Ehrenreich, and Shut Up and Drive (Tribeca 2015). His directorial feature debut, Bender (2016), cult thriller about America’s first serial killing family, won a Golden Strands award for Outstanding Cast, and Alexander directed short thriller Suspect (2017) with the American Film Institute. His debut documentary This Is Love (2018) has screened at 40 film festivals worldwide and won top prizes in 12, including the Spirit Award at Raindance in London and Best International Documentary in Rome.