‘The Musicians’ Green Book’ film event showcased Jazz greats & their struggles

Kicking off June’s 44th Anniversary of Black Music Month, Grand Songbook Media held the first screening of its Historic Documentary “The Musicians’ Green Book: An Enduring Legacy” at UCLA

The first screening of The Musicians’ Green Book: An Enduring Legacy at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music’s Schoenberg Hall was historic in its presentation. It offered an opportunity to finally give the great Jazz musicians and performers who played the ‘Chitlin’ Circuit’ the respect that is long overdue.

from right: Jazz vocalist Josephine Beavers, pianist & Musicians’ Green Book talent H.B. Barnum, TV icon Barbara Eden, and Grammy nominated singer Freda Payne

A special invited audience of UCLA students, faculty, and alumni was joined by notable Hollywood music industry executives and celebrities to screen The Musicians’ Green Book: An Enduring Legacy on June 1, 2023. The documentary chronicled the achievements and struggles of the artists who performed at a string of venues they affectionately called the Chitlin’ Circuit during the era of racial segregation, mostly in the Deep South. Despite the troubling times, the era produced some of the greatest performers and music that the world has ever known.

Following the screening a Q&A was hosted by Grand Songbook Media CEO Ed Vodicka and Arturo O’Farrill (UCLA Professor of Global Jazz Studies), with the film’s wonderful jazz vocalist Josephine Beavers taking center stage. Beavers is impressive in the film singing classic jazz numbers and also as the moderator of the film’s round table discussions. Also included on the stage were the films’ featured players who made up a great gathering of music history– Harold Jones, Benjamin Wright, Charles Owens, H.B. Barnum and Nolan Shaheed, among others. All offered big ‘wow’ moments with their stories.

from right: H.B. Barnum, Ed Vodicka (CEO Grand Songbook Media & MGB Musical Director, Harold Jones, Josephine Beavers and Nolan Shaheed.

The authentic and beautifully crafted documentary shares many remembrances and candid interviews from Black musicians, about those segregated days while traveling the dangerous Southern states touring the one-night circuit to entertain and give hope to their fans, friends, and families.

from right: Renowned Jazz harpist/pianist Corky Hale, actor Timothy Starks, Jazz vocalist Josephine Beavers, composer Mike Stoller

In addition to the talented musicians also among the luminaries attending were– gorgeous TV icon Barbara Eden and gorgeous Grammy nominated Freda Payne; award winning film producer Michael Gruskoff (Young Frankenstein), composer Mike Stoller and wife jazz great Corky Hale, actress Juanita Jennings (Meet the Browns), actress Roxana Brusso (FOX’s 911: Lone Star), actor Timothy Starks, Broadway star Rita McKenzie, legendary K-Jazz 88.1 radio broadcaster Chuck Southcott, producer Daniel Pour, Musicians’ Green Book co-writer Michael S. Bandy, Eileen Koch (EKCPR), acclaimed Hollywood publicist Gene Schwam, and Grand Songbook Media Inc. President Robert Vorel.

For more information on the stellar film that features impressive performances as well as impactful stories, go to www.musiciansgreenbook.com.

(All Photo Credits: George DeLoache)

from right: Benjamin Wright, Ed Vodicka (CEO Grand Songbook Media & MGB Musical Director), H.B. Barnum, Harold Jones, Josephine Beavers, Nolan Shaheed, Arturo Sandoval, Recording Engineer Steve Genewick & Charles Owens do Q&A with attendees at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall



Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.