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From Bandana Land to No Man's Land: James Reese Europe's Musical Journey with Michael Dinwiddie

National Archives at Kansas City
Kansas City, MO

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Michael Dinwiddie, associate professor at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, will speak about James Reese Europe and his impact on jazz in Europe during World War I. In a career that spanned the early years of the 20th century, Europe (1881-1919), called the "Martin Luther King Jr. of American music" by Eubie Blake, conducted the first jazz concerts at Carnegie Hall, collaborated with dancers Vernon and Irene Castle, and led the World War I “Hellfighters” Infantry Band, which offered Europeans their first exposure to le jazz hot. A jazz band is scheduled to perform some of Europe’s numbers during the program.

A dramatist whose works have been produced in New York, regional and educational theater, Dinwiddie spent a year at Touchstone Pictures as a Walt Disney Fellow and worked as a staff writer on ABC’s “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.” He has been playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University and St. Louis University, and taught writing courses at the College of New Rochelle (N.Y.), Florida A&M University, Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, California State University, San Bernardino, and University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He currently serves as chair of the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, Manhattan, N.Y., and he is an advisory board member of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, the International Colloquium of the National Black Theatre, Winston-Salem, N.C., the Black Theatre Network and the New Federal Theatre.

The lecture is free and open to the public, reservations are requested to ensure admission. The program will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the GEM Theater, 1615 East 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. 

The Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series is named for Spencer Cave, who was born a slave at the start of the Civil War, later moved to Parkville, Mo., in 1875 (the year Park University was founded) and worked for the University for more than 70 years before his death in 1947. This year’s lecture is sponsored by Park University's Program of History, and is presented in partnership with the American Jazz Museum, National Archives at Kansas City, National World War I Museum and Memorial, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group.

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.