Presidio Dialogues: From Ragtime to Jazz: The Music of James Reese Europe
Musician, audio professional and presenter James Lamb and an eleven-member National Guard band bring to life the fascinating tale of Jim Europe, a leading figure in the transition from ragtime to jazz. Travelling from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the battlefields of World War I France, the presentation combines narrative, images, video, and live music to chart the story of this groundbreaking African-American musician and soldier. Jim Europe was a leading figure on the New York African-American music scene. He brought African-American music to a broader audience, desegregated Broadway and the musicians union, adapted the use of saxes and the drum set in Jazz, landed the first recording contract of an African-American ensemble, and invented the Fox Trot. When the US entered World War I he enlisted in the National Guard, was sent to France, and was the first African-American to lead troops in battle. Endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission.