An all-star college student band will help us celebrate Memorial Day Weekend – hopefully we’ll do it stylishly, respectfully, and contemplatively.
It’s the American way, unfortunately, to morph every holiday (holy day) into a buying, selling, and playing opportunity. Christmas is reduced to gift giving, Labor Day becomes a carnival jump-up. And whose ancestors can be “hallowed” (greatly revered and honored) when you’re wearing a “Game of Thrones” costume?
Have your fun; but take a few minutes to memorialize the dead of many wars. And think about helping to prevent the next needless war – it appears to be on the horizon. Your President has the military/gunboat diplomacy working offshore from Iran. He’s trying to start another war in Venezuela AND THE DEMOCRATS SUPPORT HIM! We’re headed towards year 19 in Afghanistan. We’re restarting nuclear escalation with the Russians. Do the right thing; start with telling your Congressperson to dust off a copy of the War Powers Act. We must rein in Trump, Bolton, and the warmongers of both parties.
On Memorial Weekend Saturday, Jazzmobile will be celebrating the Centennial of the Harlem Hellfighters’ triumphant return from World War One. A full orchestra, the 369th Experience, will play the music of James Reese Europe, the man who brought “Le Jazz” and the “tumulte noir,” (roughly, a fever for black culture and musicians)to France and the continent. The Harlem concert will be one of a number of Metro-area appearances by the orchestra; their full schedule is below.
The 369th regiment, based in central Harlem, was the fiercest killing machine, and the most decorated combat unit fighting in “the Great War.” Their return from the war zone, in winter 1919, featured a parade from Washington Square Arch to their regimental armory at 144th Street on the Harlem river. At the head of the parade was the regimental marching band, whose jazz-flavored performances were a sensation in France. Reese’s artistry opened the door and created a welcome mat for generations of African-Americans performers seeking a break from the racist USA. James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Richard Wright – Reese laid the foundation for their experiences.
The music will be performed by a “Pan-HCBU” orchestra with members drawn from a dozen of America’s outstanding Black colleges. With their campuses spread across the south and mid-Atlantic regions, the members had to practice via the internet from their remote locations.
This will be a historic tribute to an overlooked chapter in our history. The program will take place at Marcus Garvey park at 7pm. Parents, caregivers, mentors take the teens and tweens beyond their usual (not that there’s anything wrong with rap.) and expose them to a FREE sample of America’s greatest contribution to world culture.
Rockefeller Center Summer Garden
20th West 50th Street, New York, New York
Saturday, May 25, 2019
5:45pm – 6:00pm
The 369th Experience Band is honored to close the show at the Rockefeller Center Performance in the Summer Garden.
Memorial Day Concert with Bobby Sanabria
Marcus Garvey Park, Richard Rogers Amphitheater
122nd Street & Mount Morris Park West, Harlem
Saturday, May 25, 20197:00pm – 8:30pm
4th Annual Fleet Week at Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park, Jersey Side
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Two Shows: 1:00pm – 1:30pm and 4:00pm – 4:30pm
The band will participate in the 4th Annual Fleet Week at Liberty State Park where they be part of a daylong celebration including two performances at 1pm and 4pm, Navy and Marine Corps aviation static displays, a Navy Dive Tank, silent drill team performances, and much more.
Brooklyn’s 152nd Memorial Day “Lest We Forget” Parade
Monday, May 27, 2019
Parade starts at 11:00am
The 369th Experience Band will march proudly in Brooklyn’s traditional Memorial Day Parade, including the Memorial Service at John Paul Jones Park. The band will lead the parade with James Reese Europe’s and Noble Sissle’s descendants James Reese Europe III, Noble Sissle, Jr., and Cynthia Sissle. The parade will travel from 78th and Third Avenue to Maine Avenue, up to Fourth Avenue and over to John Paul Jones Park on 101st Street and Fourth Avenue for the memorial service.
USS New York
The band will round out the day with a performance aboard the USS New York at Pier 88.
Christian McBride and Jason Moran
The band will be treated to pop-up visits and training from Christian McBride and Jason Moran as their schedules allow.