Jason Moran & The Big Bandwagon
Oct 11, 2024  |  8:00PM - 11:00PM
The Walt Disney Concert Hall

Pianist and composer Jason Moran is a risk-taker and trendsetter for new directions in jazz. In his program James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters: From the Dancehall to the Battlefield, he reflects on the legacy of an often-forgotten hero of Black music: ragtime pioneer and World War I hero James Reese Europe. Europe and his military ensemble the Harlem Hellfighters popularized the new spirit of jazz in a war-torn French nation fascinated with Black culture. And that’s only the beginning of their story—their legacy has had an extraordinary impact on African American music over the past century of cultural and political change.

Moran’s program features his Bandwagon bandmates—bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits—plus a seven-piece horn section, contributions from artist/writer/director John Akomfrah, and visuals from acclaimed cinematographer Bradford Young. It’s a powerful examination that led the Washington Post to exclaim, “We already knew that Jason Moran is stunningly and profoundly original.… Knowing it doesn’t prepare one for the stark, sublime beauty of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters.”

Bradford Young, Cinematographer
Stefani Saintonge, Film Editor
Harbor Picture Company, Color Correction
John Akomfrah, Dramaturg
Stephany Neal, Historian
Jati Lindsay, Still Photography