Jason Moran: The Harlem Hellfighters Tonight Paisley Arts Centre
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