A Life in Ragtime: A Biography of James Reese Europe by Reid Badger

By Reid Badger

In 1919, the area stood on the threshhold of the Jazz Age. the fellow who had ushered it there, in spite of the fact that, lay murdered--and could quickly plunge from overseas reputation to old obscurity. It used to be a destiny few could have anticipated for James Reese Europe; he was once then on the top of his profession as a composer, conductor, and organizer within the black group, with the promise of even higher heights to return. "People do not understand but at the present time what we misplaced once we misplaced Jim Europe," stated pianist Eubie Blake. "He used to be the savior of Negro musicians...in a category with Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King." In James Reese Europe, Reid Badger brilliantly captures this interesting lifestyles, tracing a severe bankruptcy within the emergence of jazz via one man's notable odyssey. After an early commence in Washington, Europe came across his status in manhattan, the leisure capital of turn-of-the-century the US. within the decade sooner than the 1st international conflict, he emerged as an said chief in African-American musical theater, either as a conductor and an astonishingly prolific composer. Badger finds a guy of super depths and targets, always desiring to win reputation for black musicians and wider recognition for his or her tune. He toiled continually, engaged on profit concert events, becoming a member of arms with W.E.B. Du Bois, and aiding to came upon a black track school--all the whereas successful advertisement and demanding good fortune together with his selected artwork. In 1910, he helped create the Clef membership, making it the most well known African-American musical association within the kingdom in the course of his presidency. each year from 1912 to 1914, Europe led the Clef membership orchestra in effective concert events at Carnegie corridor, successful new respectability and recognition for ragtime. He went directly to a significantly winning collaboration with Vernon and Irene fortress, the foreign stars who made social dancing a world-wide rage. alongside the best way, Europe helped to revolutionize American music--and Badger offers interesting information of his techniques and extensive impression. In global conflict I, the musical pioneer gained new repute because the first African-American officer to guide males into strive against in that conflict--but he used to be top often called band chief for the all-black fifteenth Infantry Regiment. because the "Hellfighters" of the fifteenth racked up successes at the battlefield, Europe's band took France by means of hurricane with the hot sounds of jazz. In 1919, the warriors again to manhattan in triumph, and Europe used to be the toast of town. Then, quite a few months later, he used to be dead--stabbed to loss of life by way of a drummer in his personal orchestra. From humble beginnings to tragic finish, the tale of Jim Europe comes alive in Reid Badger's account. Weaving within the wider tale of our altering tradition, tune, and racial clash, Badger deftly captures the turbulent, promising age of ragtime, and the drama of a successful existence reduce brief.

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Her youngest daughter, Mary, had intended to continue her education at Miner Normal School for teachers. 1 The newspapers in the district, however, had been carrying reports of increasing opportunities for African-Americans in the musical activities in New York City, and especially the recent successes of black musical theater, for several years. "2 As a popular entertainer, said the American the following year, the Negro "has always been a success. Nearly all the leading vaudeville, speciality, and variety shows have engaged first class colored talent for next season.

Ernest Hogan was still alive, though not present, and the eleven dapper representatives of black musical theater exude self-assurance, dignity, and optimism. It is a collective portrait of the Frogs, and also of the state of black musical theater achievement at that moment. There is no burnt-cork, no grotesque gesticulations, and no exaggerated characterizations. Minstrelsy seems a thing of the distant past. " Although the original members of the Frogs were all connected directly with the theater, it was not intended that future membership be restricted to such people.

S. 21 Both Sousa, who had been dubbed the "March King" for such compositions as "The Washington Post March" and "Semper Fidelis," and the Marine Band itself had a long-standing relationship with the African-American community in Washington. The Marine Band regularly took part in such important events in the black community as Howard University's commencement ceremonies, and band members often provided musical instruction to promising black children. One of those youngsters was Jim Europe, who, along with his sister Mary according to some accounts, received instruction on piano and violin from Enrico Hurlei, the assistant director of the band.

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