Friday, April 28, 2006
About James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant
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James Reese Europe was an early jazz pioneer and war hero whose talents and patriotism knew no boundaries. Against all odds Mr.Europe advanced his cause as well as the cause of millions of Black Americans to the highest reaches of society. He formed the first significant all Black musician union and booking agency in the United States (The Clef Club)at a time when Blacks were not allowed to join all White musician unions, his orchestra was the first Black music group to ever record a record as well as to play the prestigious Carnegie Hall concert venue in New York City. As Lt. Europe, James Reese Europe made military and music history as well by being the first Black to lead troops into battle during World War One and to spread the 'jazz germ' throughout continental Europe while bandleader of the greatest military jazz band of the most decorated regiment of the entire war, The New York 15TH National Guard Unit a.k.a. The Harlem Hellfighters. Ironically, Mr. Europe endured the hardships of racism and war to achieve all of these wonderful and amazing things only to die a senseless tragic death at the hands of one of his musicians at the young age of 39. Please join the artist known as R2C2H2 for a highly informative and visually expressive pictorial narrative of a man whose untimely murder on the verge of The Jazz Age he helped to create left him and his work almost in anonymity. By reading this book, James Reese Europe: Jazz Lieutenant you will see why we should celebrate and rejoice in the life and legacy of Lt.James Reese Europe who according to the great Eubie Blake was the savior of Negro musicians and who is in a class with Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.
Artastically and Jazzlistically yours,
R2C2H2 a.k.a. THA ARTIVIST