James Reese Europe: Latin Jazz and the Harlem Hell Fighters Band (1900–1920)

17 Apr (19:00)
- 28 Apr (3:00)
James Reese Europe: Latin Jazz And The Harlem Hell Fighters
James Reese Europe: Latin Jazz and the Harlem Hell Fighters Band (1900–1920)

⌚️2024-04-17 19:00:00 –
🏢The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse

To make the arts more accessible, tickets are available on a Choose-What-You-Pay basis. There is a suggested ticket price of $10.00, as well as options to pay more or less.

Curated by Loren Schoenberg, Senior Scholar at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem

James Reese Europe (b. 1881–d. 1919) was a groundbreaking New York City-based composer and bandleader—a key figure in developing jazz and sharing that music with audiences around the world. In his compositions and arrangements, he mined his cultural background to celebrate African rhythms and musical styles in American music. He drew from the roots of ragtime, spirituals, and the blues and wove them into original music performed at social dances, in concerts by his Clef Club Orchestra, and by the Harlem Hell Fighters' 369th Regimental Band, which he organized during World War I and led overseas.

Yet, an important part of this music history, and James Reese Europe’s biography, is often untold—the musician’s close connection to Latin jazz. In assembling the 369th Regimental Band, Europe went as far as Puerto Rico to recruit band members, and in doing so, created an opportunity for an expanded fusion of musical styles and cultural influences. The Afro-Caribbean sounds that these musicians brought to the band shaped Europe’s compositions and jazz music at large, their influence extending far beyond the wartime ensemble. Many of the Puerto Rican musicians who played in Europe’s band moved to New York City after the war—joining the music scene in Harlem, San Juan Hill, and surrounding neighborhoods—and performing, composing, and recording in the decades that followed.

Join us for a conversation with leading artists and scholars about the life and impact of James Reese Europe and his Harlem Hell Fighters’ band—who fundamentally shaped jazz and the music industry in ways that still resound today.


Loren Schoenberg (Founding Director and Senior Scholar, National Jazz Museum in Harlem)

Michael Dinwiddie (Professor of Cultural Studies, New York University)
Elena Martínez (Co-Artistic Director, Bronx Music Heritage Center)
Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés (Associate Provost for Community Engagement, The City College of New York)
This conversation will include a live musical performance, and complimentary wine will be served before and after the event.

Run time: Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
Lincoln Center seeks to create a more inclusive experience for audiences by providing a range of accommodations for all performances, no request necessary.

165 West 65th Street New York, NY 10023. Rose Building, 10th Floor …
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