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African-American Band Music & Recordings, 1883-1923

The core of this presentation consists of stock arrangements for bands or small orchestras of popular songs written by African Americans. In addition, we offer a smaller selection of historic sound recordings illustrating these songs and many others by the same composers (the arrangements might not necessarily be the same as those on the stocks). Educational materials include short biographies of composers and performers of the time and historical essays.

Canal Street Blues -King Oliver

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African American Stocks Montage

Image captions: (background) My little belle Creole [flute part], Gussie Davis, composer. (clockwise from top) My little belle Creole [drums and bells part]; Bob Cole (1868-1911) and J. Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954); James Reese Europe’s Clef Club, ca. 1914; [African American band posed on steps to brick building], [1899 or 1900]. Collected by W.E.B. Du Bois. ℗ is your source to learn about the broad and beautiful spectrum of our shared History.