Shows & Events

Jelly Roll’s Jam


Aug 16, 2022

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Jelly Roll's Jam

Free and open to the public, no RSVP or ticket needed.

In celebration of Long Wharf Theatre’s upcoming concert reading of the musical Jelly’s Last Jam, multiple Grammy Award-nominated producer Chris “Big Dog” Davis has created a one-night only jazz concert, Jelly Roll’s Jam, inspired by Jelly Roll Morton’s music.

This very special performance will feature the vocal stylings of Grammy Award-nominated singer Maysa and the Queen of Gospel Energy, Dawn Tallman. Accompanied by Chris “Big Dog” Davis on keyboards, Harold Zinno, Jr. on horns, Ace Livingston on bass and Dexter Petteway on drums this jam-session is sure to blow the books off the shelves of the New Haven Free Public Library (Stetson Branch).

Additional Information

  • Limited capacity – arrive early to guarantee access
  • Doors open at 5:30 PM
  • Masks are strongly encouraged

Parking available:

  • In the lot behind Q House
  • In the side lot of the Dixwell Congregational Church
  • In the lot behind Dixwell Plaza

All Credits

Two-time Grammy-nominated, Chris “Big Dog” Davis was born in Waterbury, CT. He began his piano studies at age five. He was enrolled in an afterschool gifted program run by Yale University. Chris studied jazz and music theory at the Hartt School of Music shortly after. Two years after enrolling in the Marine Corps, Chris moved to Des Moines, Iowa where he began his music career in production. At 35, Chris returned home to raise his family. During this time he received a phone call from multi-platinum recording artist, Brian McKnight. After working with Brian McKnight, Chris was the musical director on the Rhythm of Love tour. Chris realized his vision was to produce artists. Chris has produced many major artists in the music industry such as Grammy-nominated Maysa, multi-Grammy-nominated Gerald Albright, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Najee, Brian McKnight, and many more. Chris has to his credit ten top #1 smooth jazz records beginning 2008 through 2016. 

Grammy-nominated, Soul Train Award Winning Soul/Jazz singer Maysa was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. At an early age, Maysa knew she would be a musician. Maysa’s journey took her from singing upon graduation with Stevie Wonder for a year to becoming the lead singer for Incognito in the 90s. In 1995 she recorded her first solo album – MAYSA which debuted to rave reviews from critics and listeners alike. During the Covid 19 pandemic, Maya steadily made strides with her record label, releasing 3 more critically acclaimed singles, “It’s Gonna Be Alright,” “Lovin’ You Is Easy” and “Soft Words” (along with her first BVSR release, “You Are Not Alone”). 

Born and raised in Danbury, Connecticut, Dawn Tallman began singing in the church throughout childhood. She later expanded her body of work into the R&B and Dance scenes. Dawn’s voice and style have been compared to those of many great vocalists, like Chaka Khan, Karen Wheeler, and Oleta Adams, yet her style is completely & audibly her own. She has scored Billboard chart success with Bob Sinclar on the #1 international chart, “Feel the Vibe” and won the International Dance Music Award (IDMA) for Best House/Garage/Deep House Track. Her own rendition of the 80’s Womack & Womack track “Teardrops” scored a top 10 Billboard Dance position. Dawn has toured throughout Europe and appeared before 200 thousand in Milan for Radio Italia Live performing “Feel the Vibe” with Bob Sinclair. Dawn has toured with artists such as Patti La Belle, KC & JoJo, Keith Sweat, and many more. 

A Native of Waterbury, CT, Harold graduated from the famous North Texas State University with a degree in Jazz Trumpet. Upon returning to the east coast, Harold joined the Sonny Costanzo Jazz Orchestra and performed many concerts including being an artist in residence at Quinnipiac University. While with the Sonny Costanzo Orchestra, Harold played for Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr, The temptations, The Four Tops, The OJs , Liberace amongst many others. Harold also did several tours with Wayne Newton, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gormet and Mitzi Gaynor. Harold also was a member of the Oakdale Musical Theater Orchestra for 17 years When not performing Harold had many private students along with being an adjunct instructor at Central CT State University for a period of time Harold is currently freelancing along with performing with The Harold Zinno Jazz Orchestra

Ace Livingston grew up in Jamaica and was influenced by athletics and music. He actively pursued his dreams of becoming a professional soccer player and fondly remembers the presence of music in his home. As a child, he took piano lessons, but at 8 years old he picked up a bass and proved to be a natural. At 13 years old Ace moved to Connecticut with his family and enjoyed music as a pastime. His focus remained on fostering his soccer skills until an injury immediately ended his dreams of a professional soccer career.

While studying manufacturing and engineering in college, Ace prospered as a bass player by broadening his scope and performance style for a variety of music genres. His passion for music allowed him to cope with the abrupt end to his soccer dreams and became the driving force in defining his sense of purpose. Ace committed to pursuing a full-time career in music and co-founded a jazz band. After his breakthrough performance at a music festival in Mexico, hosted by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Ace was presented with opportunities to tour as a bassist for many A-list artists.

Ace Livingston’s eclectic skills and versatility are especially outstanding during his live performances. He has gained national and international notoriety for his musical and professional reputation. His dynamic musical resume includes tours and collaborations with Harry Connick, Jr., 98 Degrees, J. Lo, Pink, Joe, and many more.

Ace Livingston’s television appearances include The Stan Simpson Show, Better Connecticut, BET’s 106 and Park with Usher, Bobby Jones’ Gospel, and T.D. Jakes’, The Potter’s House. He has appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with Jennifer Lopez, 98 Degrees, JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise, and on “The View” with Jessica Simpson. He has performed on NBC’s “The Today Show” with Youthful Praise and “The Tonight Show” with Jessica Simpson, 98 Degrees, and Joe. Ace also performed on “Carson Daly” with Mario Winans, “The Howie Mandell Show” with Divine, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show”, the Blockbuster Music Awards, and MTV’s “Total Request Live” with 98 Degrees and Pink.

Dexter received the gift of music at the tender age of two. He played throughout his elementary and high school years being noted as the “most musical” person. That expression would later follow him throughout his musical career where he continued to wow crowds by sharing his gift of music through the expressions of playing drums and keyboard.

He studied at Wesleyan University, Manchester Community College, and the University of Hartford where he focused on jazz studies. His experience includes drum instructor, sound and recording engineer, music director, and producer. Dexter has recorded, played for, and alongside such jazz artists as Phil Perry, David Davis, Mary Taylor, Lisa Glover, Maysa, and Asa Livingston. After winning the Berkley College jazz competing as best drummer and musician, he released an educational DVD entitled “Drummatic”.

Dexter is endorsed by Paiste and continues to share his passion and zeal for the arts via his jazz band entitled “Dexters Lab” and through his many talents and gifts of music where he continually captivates audiences young and old.