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James Reese Europe: The Man Who Brought Jazz to France

This evening with Dr. Susan McCready will offer a brief introduction to the life and accomplishments of Mobile native, James Reese Europe (1880-1919), focusing especially on his achievements with the 369th Infantry band during the Great War in France.

An accomplished orchestra conductor, bandleader, and composer of popular songs, marches, and dance music during the early 20th century, Europe was a key figure in the transformation of orchestral ragtime into jazz and an effective champion of African-American musical performers and composers. He helped to gain acceptance for them in the United States and abroad.

Susan McCready is Professor of French and Chair of Modern Languages, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of War and Memory at the University of South Alabama.

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