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A Life in Ragtime: a Biography of James Reese Europe

by Badger, R. Reid A

  • ISBN: 9780195060447
  • ISBN10: 019506044X

A Life in Ragtime: a Biography of James Reese Europe

by Badger, R. Reid A

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780195060447
  • ISBN10: 019506044X
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Description: In A Life in Ragtime, Reid Badger brilliantly captures the fascinating life of James Reese Europe, tracing a critical chapter in the emergence of jazz through one man's remarkable odyssey. After an early start in Washington, Europe found his fame in New York, the entertainment capital of turn-of-the-century America. In the decade before the First World War, he emerged as an acknowledged leader in African-American musical theater, both as a conductor and as a prolific composer. Europe toiled constantly, working on benefit concerts, joining hands with W.E.B. Du Bois, and helping to found a black music school - all the while winning commercial and critical success with his music. In 1910, he helped create the Clef Club, making it the premiere African-American musical organization in the country during his presidency. Every year from 1912 to 1914, Europe led the Clef Club orchestra in triumphant concerts at Carnegie Hall, winning new respectability and popularity for ragtime. He went on to an extraordinarily successful collaboration with Vernon and Irene Castle, the international stars who made social dancing a world-wide rage. In World War I, the musical pioneer won new fame as the first African-American officer to lead men into combat in that conflict - but he was best known as band leader for the all-black 15th Infantry Regiment. As the "Hellfighters" of the 15th racked up successes on the battlefield, Europe's band took France by storm with the new sounds of jazz. In 1919, the soldiers returned to New York in triumph, and Europe was the toast of the city. Then, just a few months later, he was dead - stabbed to death by a drummer in his own orchestra. From humble beginnings to tragicend, the story of Jim Europe comes alive in Reid Badger's account.
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Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 360 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white. Audience: General/trade. BU-1800-E
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Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 360 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white. Audience: General/trade. BU-1800-E
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