Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sergio Mims: New York University: Randy Weston in music of James Reese Europe 6 PM Nov. 9; Discussion on “Harlem’s Rattlers” 5 PM Nov. 10, 2014

James Reese Europe

Randy Weston
(Antane Ofiaja)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I'm sure that you and your readers will be interested in this event in New York on November 9th, 2014.


The Institute of African American Affairs (IAAA) at New York University and the New York University Department of History will host a two-evening program celebrating the music of James Reese Europe and examining the role and depiction of World War I’s 369th Regiment in popular culture and history.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  While President Woodrow Wilson urged the United States to enter the Great War in order to make the world “safe for democracy,” these democratic ideals were not evident in American society at large or the American military, which would remain segregated until the Korean War. But this state of affairs did not stop “Harlem’s Rattlers,” the African American combat unit that grew out of the 15th New York National Guard, from their appeals for a chance to see combat in Europe, where they eventually fought with the French army in WWI with great distinction.
The following two major public programs were produced to heighten awareness and understanding of the important yet undervalued role that military institutions and matters of war and peace have played in the African American freedom struggle and the quest for equality.  Perhaps no single military organization is more connected to the African American pursuit of full citizenship individually and collectively than New York’s own 369th Regiment.

Randy Weston African Rhythms Orchestra celebrates James Reese Europe and the 369th Regiment in concert   
Sunday, November 9, 2014
6:00 pm
NYU-Skirball Performing Arts Center  

566 LaGuardia Place (corner of LaGuardia Place and Washington Square South) NY, NY 10012

The opening session on Sunday, November 9, 2014, will celebrate the music of James Reese Europe and feature Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Orchestra in a tribute to Europe and the 369th Regiment.  A great musician, composer, and band director, Europe played a pivotal role in the recruitment efforts of the Regiment, served as an officer in its machine gun company, and is credited with spreading the “jazz germ” throughout the European continent.  There is no doubt that during and after the war, the band led by Lieutenant Europe and his successors contributed to the Regiment’s visibility and helped to preserve its legacy.   Moreover, Europe’s musical brilliance served as an inspiration for generations of musicians to follow, including Mr. Weston whose music and lived experience make him an invaluable expert and resource on the African Diaspora.  Coauthors Sammons and/or Morrow will briefly place James Reese Europe in historical context.
Ticket price(s):
-Regular $15;
-NYU students, faculty, staff and administrators $10;
-Non-NYU Students $12;
-Seniors $10

For ticket information please call 888-611-8183 or visit online at

“Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War in Popular Culture and Historical Context” roundtable discussion
Monday, November 10, 2014
5:00 pm  
Kimmel Center – NYU
Room – E&L Auditorium, 4th floor

60 Washington Square South, NY, NY  10012

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