17th Annual Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series
The American Jazz Museum is proud to host the 2018 lecture, "From 'Bandana Land' to 'No Man's Land': James Reese Europe's Musical Journey," as part of the 17th Annual Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series. Park University, American Jazz Museum, National Archives at Kansas City, National World War I Museum and Memorial, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Greater Kansas City Black History Study Group present this year's program.
Michael Dinwiddie, associate professor at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, will speak about James Reese Europe and his impact on jazz in Europe during World War I. In a career that spanned the early years of the 20th century, Europe (1881-1919), called the "Martin Luther King Jr. of American music" by Eubie Blake, conducted the first jazz concerts at Carnegie Hall, collaborated with dancers Vernon and Irene Castle, and led the World War I “Hellfighters” Infantry Band, which offered Europeans their first exposure to le jazz hot. A jazz band is scheduled to perform some of Europe’s numbers during the program.
Professor Dinwiddie received both his B.A. and M.F.A. from NYU, where he studied Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts. In 1995, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting. Dinwiddie received a NYU Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005. He currently teaches courses based on his interests in cultural studies, African American theater history, dramatic writing, filmmaking and ragtime music. In April 2018, Dinwiddie will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, which promotes and encourages the highest standards of research, writing and creativity in educational and professional theater.
The Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series is named for Spencer Cave, who was born a slave at the start of the Civil War, later moved to Parkville, Mo., in 1875 (the year Park University was founded) and worked for the University for more than 70 years before his death in 1947.