Monday, February 17, 2014 New Jersey Ballet Performs "New Work set to 'Harlem Symphony'" of James P. Johnson (1894-1955) on Sunday, February 23, 2014 in Morristown

Victory Stride: The Symphonic Music of James P. Johnson

The Concordia Orchestra
Marin Alsop, Conductor
Music Masters 67140 (1994)

James Price Johnson  (1894-1955)
African American Pianist & Composer

of Stride Piano & Classical Music
is featured at

NJ Ballet celebrates past, future with new work
Feb. 16, 2014
The first program of the season takes place at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown on Sunday, Feb. 23. The program features a new work set to “Harlem Symphony,” a composition by pioneering jazz artist (and New Brunswick native) James P. Johnson.
The New Jersey Ballet will be joined onstage by the New Jersey Youth Symphony, conducted by Jeffrey Grogan.
During the next few months, the New Jersey Ballet will premiere a total of seven newly commissioned works.

Many people associate jazz in New Jersey with the likes of Count Basie or Sarah Vaughan. But McRae found in his research that James P. Johnson was a crucial figure in the evolution of jazz from ragtime.
McRae compares Johnson’s “Harlem Symphony” to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in its melding of jazz themes in a symphonic setting.

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