Jason Moran: James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin
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Jason Moran
The Harlem Hellfighters

Jason Moran

James Reese Europe & The Absence of Ruin

MAY 21–24 | Jason Moran

May 23 - May 24, 2020
Miner Auditorium
SatMay 23
7:30 PM

$30 | $50 | $70 | $85

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SunMay 24
7:00 PM

$30 | $50 | $70 | $85

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Making it’s West Coast premiere, Moran’s newest multi-media project is based around his longstanding Bandwagon trio and explores a previously untold chapter in jazz history. Jazz arrived in Europe not with the roaring ‘20s, but amidst the thunder of artillery in 1918, when American Expeditionary Forces helped bring an end to the Great War. For several years Jason Moran has been delving into the story of seminal African-American composer and bandleader James Reese Europe, who landed in Brest with the Harlem Hellfighters on New Year’s Day 1918.

The celebrated all-black unit helped break the stalemate on the Western front, while Reese Europe’s finely honed military music ensemble introduced the new spirit of jazz to a war-weary French nation fascinated with black culture. Commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Berliner Festspiele/Jazzfest Berlin, Moran’s meditation on Reese Europe’s life and legacy reveals a pivotal moment in American culture as its international influence gathered force. The work joins an impressive gallery of projects Moran has brought to SFJAZZ, including the world premiere of Jazz + Skateboarding, Fats Waller Dance Party, and Monk at Town Hall. He conceived and composed The Harlem Hellfighters for the Bandwagon with Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits, his all-terrain musical vehicle for the past two decades.

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The celebrated all-black unit helped break the stalemate on the Western front, while Reese Europe’s finely honed military music ensemble introduced the new spirit of jazz to a war-weary French nation.

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We already know that Jason Moran is stunningly and profoundly original, even in his treatment of existing material. Knowing it doesn’t prepare one for the stark, sublime beauty of 'James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters: The Absence of Ruin'.

The Washington Post

We already know that Jason Moran is stunningly and profoundly original, even in his treatment of existing material. Knowing it doesn’t prepare one for the stark, sublime beauty of 'James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters: The Absence of Ruin'.

The Washington Post

Personnel

Jason Moran piano
Tarus Mateen bass
Nasheet Waits drums

The most provocative thinker in current jazz.

Rolling Stone (on Jason Moran)

Personnel

Jason Moran piano
Tarus Mateen bass
Nasheet Waits drums

The most provocative thinker in current jazz.

Rolling Stone (on Jason Moran)

Watch & Listen

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon

Blue Blocks

James Reese Europe

Memphis Blues

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon

Blue Blocks

James Reese Europe

Memphis Blues