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Bebop Spoken There

Jim Keltner: “I was snatched right out of the jazz world. I shouldn't say snatched, I went willingly, I ran. From $85 a week to $250 a week, that gets your attention." - (JazzTimes, September 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! --

Postage

13,715 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1132 of them this year alone and, so far, 76 this month (Sept. 21).

From This Moment On ...

September

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 23: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Middlesbrough Town Hall 8:00pm. .
Thu 23: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside, Gateshead. 8:30pm. .

Fri 24: Perdido Street Jazzmen (with Frank Brooker reeds, Eugene Farrar trombone, Brian Bennett banjo & Phil Rutherford sousaphone) @ Darlington Market Square, Darlington. 11:00am.
Fri 24: Sue Ferris Quintet @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band, Stockton. 1:00pm.
Fri 24: FILM: Jazz on a Summer's Day + Swing Bridge Trio (in the bar) @ Forum Cinema, Hexham. 7:00pm.

Sat 25: Silent Music Seeing Sound + Spinningwork @ Newcastle Arts Centre. 6:30pm. Newcastle Festival of Jazz & Improvised Music (NFOJIM).
Sat 25: Knats @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Sun 26: Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon. .
Sun 26: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 26: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. .
Sun 26: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 4:00pm.
Sun 26: Sax Appeal @ The Blue Bell, Hill Street, Corbridge NE45 5AA. 4:30pm. Free. .
Sun 26: David Gray Flextet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.
Sun 26: Nubiyan Twist @ The Cluny, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 27: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Wed 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 29: Darlington Big Band @ Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 29: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Thu 30: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 30: Mainly Two @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 30: Shiver + Run Logan Run @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle. 8:00pm. NFOJIM.
Thu 30: Jeremy McMurray & the Jazz Pocket Orchestra @ Arc, Stockton. 8:00pm.
Thu 30: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

JASON MORAN – THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS - Free Stream – premiere 22 January (5pm GMT)

(Press release)

Serious have partnered with the Kennedy Center in Washington to bring streaming of the ground-breaking event that we co-commissioned in 2018, at no cost, from 5pm GMT on Friday 22 January, running through until the end of February.   

Jason Moran creates an original response to the extraordinary story of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters - bravery, race issues, and the explosive arrival of jazz in war-torn Europe. 


‘We won France by playing music which was ours and not a pale imitation of others, and if we are to develop in America we must develop along our own lines.’ 

(James Reese Europe1919).

 

The renowned composer, pianist and visual artist Jason Moran – shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz’ (Rolling Stone) – celebrates and reflects on the legacy of James Reese Europe (1880-1919), an iconic figure in the evolution of African-American music who introduced France to the sound of jazz in the closing year of World War 1.  

 

Jointly commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the Kennedy Center, Washington, and Serious  


The film will be hosted on our website at serious.org.uk/Harlem 

 

In this multi-dimensional performance, members of Moran’s long-established trio, The Bandwagon (described by the NY Times as ‘the best rhythm section in jazz’) perform new music by Jason Moran inspired by James Reese Europe’s original compositions.  

  

His most recent UK performances included a UK tour of this project, as well as a two-night residency at Tate Modern with his long-term collaborator, performance artist Joan Jonas, and a duet with fellow pianist Robert Glasper at a sold-out Royal Festival Hall. 

  

The project also has a dedicated website/blog at – jasonmoranharlemhellfighters.com 

Background 

On New Year’s Day 1918, James Reese Europe – an iconic figure in the evolution of African-American music – landed in Brest with the 93rd Division’s 369th Infantry Regiment. Alongside their achievements in combat, Europe’s crack military music ensemble popularised the new spirit of jazz to a war-torn French nation fascinated with Black culture.  

Nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, the 93rd Division's 369th Infantry Regiment from New York first garnered notoriety for its world-class band, led by acclaimed composer and bandleader James Reese Europe. Made up of top musicians from the United States and Puerto Rico, the band famously played a swinging, yet initially unrecognisable, version of the Marseillaise upon disembarking for the first time on French soil.  

  

The 369th received equal acclaim for its performance on the field of battle. Two soldiers of the 369th, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts, were the first American soldiers to receive the French Croix de Guerre. The regiment served for 191 days and ceded no ground to enemy forces. While they returned to the United States as national heroes, The Harlem Hellfighters had not been permitted to serve under American command during their time on the Western Front. Throughout 1918, the regiment served under French command, wearing French uniforms. Following a posthumous award of a Purple Heart in 1996, in 2015 President Obama awarded the Medal of Honour to Henry Johnson.  

 

On the 17 February 1919, the 369th Infantry Regiment famously marched up Fifth Avenue and into Harlem before some 250,000 onlookers. A spirit of determination, inspired by the war, surged throughout black America. James Reese Europe himself came to an untimely end later that year, murdered by one of his fellow band members, widely reported across the USA.  


(Link to Brian Ebbatson's comment)

1 comment :

Brian Ebbatson said...

For further information on the Harlem Hellfighters and James Reese Europe (including some photos) see my piece in this blog on 20 April 2020, "The beginning of a century-long love affair between France and black American music?", drawing on a reading of David Olusoga's "The World's War", perhaps even more pertinent now, in the light both of Black Lives Matter movement and the current state of 'hope' under the Democratic Presidency in the USA.

The march of the Hellfighters up Fifth Avenue was over a hundred years ago. Then "the leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Organisation, Marcus Garvey, was said to have wept at the sight of the 369th Infantry parading through the city. That whites, too, had lined Fifth Avenue was taken by some as a hopeful sign that …. the United States might be on the verge of a new era of black-white relations." Progress?

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