Dance Clarinets presents the Music of James Reese Europe
Greenwich House Music School’s Dance Clarinets will present the music of composer and bandleader James Reese Europe, who was an influential leader in the African American music scene in New York City during the 1910s.
Led by GHMS faculty member J.D. Parran, Dance Clarinets is a clarinet orchestra comprised of twenty musicians (along with percussion, piano, and bass) drawn from professional and semi-professional musicians from all over New York City who perform together with GHMS students.
The evening will begin with a panel about Europe’s life and music with folklorist Elena Martinez, 2012 NEA Jazz Master, Jimmy Owens, and moderated by ethnomusicologist Dr. Paul Austerlitz.
The panel and concert will be held at Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St, on Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 pm. Advance tickets ($20) are on sale now via the Greenwich House website.
Europe was commissioned to the 369th Infantry Regiment (the Harlem Hellfighters) during WWI and led their regimental band while fighting alongside the French. Their marching jazz band traveled over 2,000 miles performing during the war. The sound that they produced was so startling to the French, that audiences thought they were using new types of instruments. His marching band music (what some now consider to be “proto-jazz”) was left to a fellow Harlem Helllfighter and donated to the New York Historical Brass Society.
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