“It’s at the very top of anything I’ve ever done,” Perry said Friday on “CUOMO.” “I was encouraged to do it by August Wilson (playwright of “Fences,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “The Piano Lesson”) after seeing one of his plays in Atlanta. I was telling him how embarrassed I was about being on the Chitlin’ Circuit.”
Black entertainers in the Jim Crow South performed on the so-called Chitlin’ Circuit, which allowed them the opportunity to tour and perform when they could not get into white establishments to ply their trades.
Wilson encouraged Perry to go home and write what was on his heart, and “‘Jazzman’s’ started to pour out of me,” Perry said.
“I think a lot of (‘A Jazzman’s Blues’) was born out of the pains that we suffered as Black people, and also the pains that Jewish people suffered (during) the Holocaust, and having to come through,” Perry said.
“A Jazzman’s Blues” is currently playing on Netflix.