By Walter Rutledge
This weekend spring has finally sprung! As we begin to thaw out from the winter doldrums we find a diverse offering of arts related activities to choose from. Two spectacular dance companies culminate their seasons, culture take to the streets of Harlem, and an opera diva graces the Apollo stage. Here are a few of the many events taking place around the city and in our community. Continue reading
Posted in Harlem
Tagged Ailey II, Alvin Ailey, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Amy Hall Garner, Apollo Theater, Ask Your Mama, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz”, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, David H. Koch Theater, Ellington, Gershwin, Hammerstein, Harlem’s Black and Jewish Music Culture 1890- 1930 Exhibition, James Reese Europe, Jessica Lang, Jessye Norman, Johann Sebastian Bach, John T. Reddick, judith jamison, Langston Hughes, Laura Karpman, Malcolm Low, Manhattan School of Music: Harlem Nights, Mt. Morris Park, Nnenna Freelon, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Richard Rodgers, Ristorante Settepani, Troy Powell, W.C. Handy, Walter Rutledge, Walter's World:
Egbert Austin “Bert” Williams (November 12, 1874 – March 4, 1922) was one of the preeminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era and one of the most popular comedians for all audiences of his time.
“(Bert Williams was)…central to the development of a global black modernism centered in Harlem’s Renaissance.”
Posted in Harlem, Harlem history
Tagged Abyssinia, Al Jolson, Alex Rogers, Bandanna Land, Bert Williams, Bob Cole, Brice and Williams, Broadway theatre, Buckingham Palace, Charlotte ("Lottie") Thompson, Eddie Cantor, Elder Eatmore, ert Williams, George M. Cohan, George Walker, Good Morning Carrie, Hotel Astor, I'm a Jonah Man, J. Rosamond Johnson, James Reese Europe, Jesse Ship, Lester A. Walton, New York City, Nora Bayes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Play That Barbershop Chord, R.C. McPherson, Sam Calker, Scott Joplin, Sons of Ham, The Mastoden Minstrels, The Phrenologist Coon, Tom Brown, Under the Bamboo Tree, W. C. Fields, Walter C. Kelly, Will Rogers, Williams & Walker, Ziegfeld's Follies
Harlem Hellfighters is the popular name for the 369th Infantry Regiment, formerly the 15th New York National Guard Regiment. Continue reading
Posted in Harlem
Tagged 15th New York National Guard Regiment., 20th U.S. Colored Infantry, 369th Infantry Regiment, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Camp Upton at Yaphank, Colonel Hamilton Fish III, French 161st Division, From Harlem to the Rhine, Harlem Hellfighters, James Reese Europe, Needham Roberts, NYARNG, Sgt. Henry Johnson, Spotswood Poles, The Black Rattlers, Vosges Mountains
James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters
James Reese Europe
(22 February 1881 – 9 May 1919) was an American ragtime and early jazz bandleader, arranger, and composer. He was the leading figure on the African American music scene of New York City in the 1910s. Europe was born in Mobile, Alabama. His family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was 10 years old. He moved to New York in 1904.
In 1910 Reese organized the Clef Club, a society for African Americans in the music industry. In 1912, they made history when they played a concert at Carnegie Hall for the benefit of the Colored Music Settlement School. The Clef Club Orchestra was the first jazz band to play at Carnegie Hall. It is difficult to overstate the importance of that event in the history of jazz in the United States — it was 12 years before the Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin concert at Aeolian Hall, and 26 years before Benny Goodman‘s famed concert at Carnegie Hall. Reese’s orchestra also included Will Marion Cook, who had not been in Carnegie Hall since his own performance as solo violinist in 1896. Cook was the first black composer to launch full musical productions, fully scored with a cast and story every bit as classical as any Victor Hugo operetta. In the words of Gunther Schuller, Reese “…had stormed the bastion of the white establishment and made many members of New York’s cultural elite aware of Negro music for the first time.” In other words, Europe provides a case as the very first example of jazz as a blues-based departure from ragtime.