Ja­son Mo­ran: The Har­lem Hell­fight­ers Tonight Pais­ley Arts Cen­tre

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As part of 14-18 NOW, the UK-wide arts pro­gramme mark­ing the end of the First World War, Ja­son Mo­ran presents The Har­lem Hell­fight­ers, a show cel­e­brat­ing the ar­rival of jazz and African-Amer­i­can mu­sic in war-torn Europe.

Tonight is Mo­ran’s only Scot­tish date and the com­poser, pi­anist and vis­ual artist has cre­ated an orig­i­nal re­sponse to the ex­tra­or­di­nary story of James Reese Europe, a man re­ferred to as the “Martin Luther King of mu­sic”.

Born in Bos­ton in 1880, the band­leader in­tro­duced France to the sound of jazz in the clos­ing year of the First World War – the year he died at the age of 39. The Har­lem Hell­fight­ers was the nick­name of his New York reg­i­ment’s world-class band. Made up of top mu­si­cians from the US and Puerto Rico, they played Mem­phis Blues as they marched across No Man’s Land.

In this multi-di­men­sional per­for­mance, mem­bers of Mo­ran’s long-es­tab­lished trio The Band­wagon will join a group of young Bri­tish play­ers to per­form new mu­sic by Mo­ran in­spired by Europe’s orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions.

The per­for­mance will also in­clude con­tri­bu­tions from artist/film­maker John Akom­frah and cine­matog­ra­pher Bradford Young.

Com­poser, pi­anist and vis­ual artist Ja­son Mo­ran cel­e­brates First World War band­leader James Reese Europe at Pais­ley Arts Cen­tre tonight

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