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My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Composer/Pianist Reginald Robinson Creates Musical Tribute to Jazz Pioneer James Reese Europe

Composer/Pianist Reginald Robinson Creates Musical Tribute to Jazz Pioneer James Reese Europe

WDCB’s Gary Zidek catches up with award winning composer/pianist Reginald Robinson to learn more about his world premiere musical tribute to James Reese Europe.

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“Some people may not know who James Reese Europe is, so certainly (for them to) learn about James Reese Europe. Also, I want people to understand he was a visionary, and thinking ahead.” - Reginald Robinson talking about his hopes for to increase awareness of James Reese Europe.

 Reginald Robinson on piano and COD music professor Tom Tallman on trumpet

Reginald Robinson on piano and COD music professor Tom Tallman on trumpet

Reginald Robinson was commissioned by Symphony Center Presents Jazz to create a work commemorating composer and bandleader James Reese Europe.

 James Reese Europe

James Reese Europe

Born in 1881, Europe was a true pioneer in the music world.  Considered to be among the most respected black bandleaders of his time, Europe was also an innovator as a composer of ragtime and pre-jazz music. When America entered World War I, Europe signed up and was ordered to put together a band. The 369th Regiment became known as the Hell Fighters, the band won wide acclaim in France and eventually the United States after the war. Unfortunately Europe’s life ended in 1919 at what was likely the pinnacle of his career.

 College of DuPage music professor Tom Tallman and composer/pianist Reginald Robinson

College of DuPage music professor Tom Tallman and composer/pianist Reginald Robinson

Robinson called on College of Dupage music professor Tom Tallman to arrange certain pieces of the James Reese Europe tribute. The world premiere program consists of a four-section suite, each part corresponding to a different part of Europe’s remarkable life.

 Reginald Robinson

Reginald Robinson

Reginald Robinson’s tribute to James Reese Europe will make its world premiere Friday November 2 at Symphony Center. The program will be presented first, then Branford Marsalis Quartet will take the stage. You can find more info at cso.org.

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