James Reese Europe

black composer

The year 1913 saw the first recordings by a keystone composer James Reese Europe, a black man.¬† He was an elite composer, conductor, and organizer of Europe controlled several dance orchestras in New York during the 1910s and had become the president of the Clef Club, a union black musicians. ¬†Europe’s recording contract with Victor Records came with his appointment as conductor for the sensational dance team Vernon and Irene Castle.


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