NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross featured jazz pianist, composer, Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, and NEC faculty member Jason Moran, who shared music from his newest album, "From the Dancehall to the Battlefield." The album explores the life and music of World War One-era composer James Reese Europe.
To the left is a photo of Moran in March 2023, performing music by James Reese Europe with NEC student ensembles, including rarely-heard songs written in collaboration with Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle.
After creating the Clef Club, the first organization in New York City supporting African-American musicians, Europe presented a series of landmark performances in Carnegie Hall starting in 1912. He also collaborated with Vernon and Irene Castle in the popularization of social dance. During World War I, Europe was a lieutenant in the 369th Infantry, known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The regimental band Europe led during the war was pivotal in introducing jazz-like music to the European continent.