A Week-Long Musical Salute to the 369th Infantry Regiment Also Known as the Harlem Hellfighters
The 369th Experience, an official program of the US World War I Centennial Commission, will host a series of events and performances in recognition of Juneteenth, Black Music Month and the military and musical contributions of the 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. Forward March for Freedom will bring band students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other schools across the country to Washington, DC June 13 – 20, 2022 to participate in a week-long series of events and performances.
Planned activities for the week include performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Millennium Stage and concerts at the National World War I Memorial Site in Pershing Park, after a ceremonial march from The White House to the memorial site. Band members will also participate in panel discussions with renowned historians and musicians, and master classes led by acclaimed performers including Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz; Grammy Award winner Christian McBride; Grammy Award winner Sean Jones; and Grammy- nominated percussionist Bobby Sanabria. Dancer and choreographer Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of musical legend Duke Ellington, will lead a dance demonstration set to James Reese Europe’s syncopated rhythms. Programming is sponsored by the Doughboy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Google, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Basketball Players Association Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The 369th Experience was created to acknowledge, educate, and preserve the legacy of The 369th Infantry Regiment, a regiment made up of African American and Puerto Rican soldiers who were not allowed to fight with their fellow Americans in World War I due to their race. Instead they braved the battlefield alongside French soldiers and went on to become one of the longest-serving, most decorated units of the American Expeditionary Force. In addition to their bravery on the battlefield, the Harlem Hellfighters were brilliant musicians who introduced ragtime, big band and jazz to the world, changing the course of music forever.
The 369th Experience’s re-creation band is comprised of 65 African American and Puerto Rican male band members from 17 HBCUs and other schools in the United States. The band has performed music from the original 369th Regimental Infantry Band’s musical repertoire at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and Rockefeller Center and the opening of The Shed in New York.
The 369th Experience Forward March for Freedom Featured Events
|Monday, June 13th||6:00 pm||Virtual Master Class by|
Christian McBrideJA DA 1919
|Tuesday June 14th||10:00 am||Master Class by Jason Moran|
Break Down the Funk 1919
Kennedy Center, Studio F
|6:30 pm||TAPS with Sean JonesNational WWI Memorial (Public Event)|
|8:00 pm||JAM Session with the Golden Gate Quartet|
|Wednesday, June 15th||10:00 am||Master Class by Sean Jones|
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy 1941
Kennedy Center, Studio F
|1:30 pm||Forward March for Freedom: A Panel Discussion on James|
Reese Europe’s Global Impact on Music and the Military
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Reserve free tickets here. (Public Event)
|Saturday, June 18th||8:00 am||Symbolic March from The White House to the National|
World War I Memorial Site with The President’s Own US
Marine Corps Band and descendants of James Reese
Europe & Noble Sissle. (Public Event)
|9:00 am||Concert at the National World War I Memorial|
Site (Pershing Park) (Public Event)
|6:00 pm||Live-streamed concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for|
the Performing Arts’ Millennium Stage (Click here for more
information.) (Public Event)
|Sunday, June 19th||7:00 pm||Performance with Jon Batiste|
Something in the Water Festival
(Ticketed Public Event. Get ticket information here.)
The 369th Experience is a nonprofit organization dedicated to acknowledging, educating and preserving the legacy of The 369th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. Led by Lieutenant James Reese Europe and Second Lieutenant Noble Sissle, The 369th Infantry Regiment introduced jazz and ragtime to Europe and the world.
IVOX NEWS :: SOURCE The Doughboy Foundation