Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 18, 2012.

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A comedic, sensual, gritty journey into Mississippi Delta Rhythm & Blues' forgotten talent, Jimmy Donley, through dance and live music.

Let Me Told You is a deeply personal artistic endeavor. It celebrates the life and legacy of choreographer Jessi Donley’s late cousin, Jimmy Donley, a lost legend who passed at the young age of thirty-three. In his short life, Jimmy wrote and performed countless R&B songs of the Mississippi Delta. While some of Jimmy’s tunes were made famous by Antoine “Fats” Domino, others were left unrecorded, and many were recorded without giving Jimmy his due credit. Rather than telling Jimmy’s tragic life story as others have done before, Let Me Told You revives and celebrates Jimmy’s musical contributions and talents.

Jimmy Donley & Fats Domino
Jimmy Donley & Fats Domino

Let Me Told You is an exciting collaboration between the dance and music communities in New Orleans. A cast of eleven comes together with five musicians and six dancers, interacting together on stage as they all work collectively to take the audience on a comedic, sensual and gritty journey. Let Me Told You will be performed at the New Orleans Fringe Festival from November 14-18 2012.

Let Me Told You dancers
Let Me Told You dancers

The process of bringing this piece together has taken a great deal of time and energy put forth by the dancers, and especially the musicians. This Kickstarter campaign is seeking to raise $3,000 to cover the cost of producing this evening-length, collaborative work. The majority of the funding will go towards securing and compensating the musicians for the hours of energy they have put into rehearsals as well as the four upcoming performances at the Fringe Festival. Funding will also be given to the six dancers for their work as well as to recognize and fulfill the need to compensate professional dancers in the increasingly growing dance community in New Orleans. 

Jimmy & Fats making a record
Jimmy & Fats making a record

In addition to compensating musicians and dancers for their work on Let Me Told You, the rest of the Kickstarter grant will go towards the production costs of Let Me Told You, including publicity, props, costumes, and the set. $3,000 is the bare minimum needed to pull off a show of this quality, rich history, and length, and we are excited for the opportunity to receive help from interested individuals and organizations seeking to support the New Orleans music and dance communities.

Let Me Told You is the first full-length production of Dancing Grounds' resident Contemporary dance company, Donley Dance Project, led by Jessi Donley.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are very few risks and challenges to completing our project once it is funded. Let Me Told You has already been promised a venue and been backed by the New Orleans Fringe Festival (nofringe.org) as an official Fringe production, which will premiere from November 14-18, 2012. The permits for the venue have already been secured, the dancers and musicians have been secured, rehearsals are well under way, the production has been fully planned and promoted. Let Me Told You has already received local press attention from New Orleans Magazine and the Times-Picayune. Once we receive Kickstarter funding, we will able to pay the performers and therefore confidently secure all of their participation, completing the final stage of the production process. Barring any natural disasters (less likely for New Orleans in November), mass illness among several key cast members or widespread apocalyptic happenings, the show will go on! If such unlikely events should happen, the production would be postponed to a later date. All of the artistic components have been completed and, given the deeply personal nature of the project, Jessi would never give up without seeing Let Me Told you realized on stage.

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    13 backers

    Limited edition "Let Me Told You" poster, signed by the cast

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    39 backers

    CD of Jimmy Donley's rare Mississippi Delta Rhythm & Blues recordings, with original album artwork.

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    10 backers

    Private Dance Lesson with Jessi Donley + Dancing Grounds Black Canvas Tote Bag

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Funding period

- (24 days)