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Dvorák to Duke EllingtonA Conductor Rediscovers America's Music and Its African-American Roots$
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Maurice Peress

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098228.001.0001

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James Reese Europe

James Reese Europe

(p.61) 7 James Reese Europe
Dvorák to Duke Ellington

Maurice Peress

Oxford University Press

David Mannes, concertmaster of Walter Damrosch's New York Symphony and Director of the city's Musical Settlement Houses, engaged James Reese Europe, charismatic conductor and composer, and his unusual Negro orchestra, the “Clef Club”, to play what turned out to be a triumphal benefit concert for the new Harlem branch, at Carnegie Hall — the first concert of its kind (1912). Europe was interviewed about his very specific ideas about the future of Negro music and musicians. Mannes described his own teacher, an African-American violinist, composer, John Thomas Douglas, as “the man who helped shape my life”.

Keywords:   David Mannes, Walter Damrosch, New York Symphony, Negro orchestra, the Cleft Club, Carnegie Hall, John Thomas Douglas

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