With the audio-visual performance “James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin”, jazz pianist Jason Moran has created a complex artistic memorial to the visionary and bandleader Europe – one hundred years after his fateful landing on the French Mediterranean coast with the “Harlem Hellfighters”.
Commissioned by Berliner Festspiele, the London agency Serious and the British cultural programme 14-18 Now: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Moran's work is embedded in a network of organisers, research and educational institutions, scientists and artists who take the anniversary as an opportunity to re-explore Europe’s role in the success story of African-American music in the US and Europe and to increase awareness for it by means of an online research platform and a symposium by the British Library in London. Jazz historian and Europe-expert Harald Kisiedu will be talking to the music historians and academic supervisors of the online platform, Catherine Tackley of the University of Liverpool and Tom Perchard of Goldsmiths University of London, as well as Jason Moran himself about how the project was initiated, the significance of military intervention for bringing jazz music to Europe, and about James Reese Europe’s pioneering work in the ongoing struggle for equality of the African-American population in the United States.
Website of Jason Moran – The Harlem Hellfighters
With Jason Moran, Tom Perchard, Catherine Tackley
Moderation: Harald Kisiedu