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Barbican announces Jason Moran celebrating the legacy of James Reese Europe  

Jason Moran wearing white trousers and stripey blazer looking at something intriguing to his right

Jason Moran: The Harlem Hellfighters
Tuesday 30 October 2018 / Barbican Hall / 20:00
Tickets £15-20 plus booking fee

In this special Barbican Hall date, composer, pianist and visual artist Jason Moran celebrates and reflects on the legacy of James Reese Europe, the iconic figure in the evolution of African-American music who introduced war-torn France to the sound of Jazz in the closing years of WWI.

In this concert, members of Moran’s long-established trio, The Bandwagon, alongside a group of brass and wind players drawn from today’s richly talented new generation of British musicians will perform new music by Jason Moran, reimagining James Reese Europe’s original music. The performance will also feature visual contributions from filmmaker John Akomfrah and cinematographer Bradford Young.

On New Year’s Day 1918, James Reese Europe landed in Brest with the 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the ‘Harlem Hellfighters’. As well as their achievements in combat, their world-class military band popularised the new spirit of jazz to a war-torn French nation fascinated with black culture. The following year, on 17 February 1919, the 369th Infantry Regiment famously marched up Fifth Avenue and into Harlem before some 250,000 onlookers. A spirit of determination, inspired by the war, surged throughout black America.

Moran has established himself as one of contemporary Jazz’s greatest innovators, communing with the voices of the genre’s past while forging a sound for its future.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Serious and the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Co-produced by Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin. 
Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious
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