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Artist

Jim Europe

Jim Europe
Aliases
Lt. Jim Europe's 369th Infantry "Hell Fighters" Band
Real name
James Reese Europe
Born
February 22, 1881
Died
May 9, 1919
Country
United States
Comments
Europe was a ragtime and jazz bandleader and composer in New York City in the 1910s. Europe obtained a commission as a lieutenant during World War I with the 369th Infantry Regiment, that became known known as the "Harlem Hellfighters". Europe joined the regiment with fellow musician Noble Sissle who was also commissioned as a lieutenant. After seeing combat, he became the leader of the regimental band. Ironically, Europe died shortly after the war was over when, during an intermission in a performance in Boston, Herbert Wright, a drummer in the band, became enraged by Europe's criticism, and Wright stabbed him in the neck with a pen knife - a wound from which Europe died. Reese had a public funeral in New York City - the first time an African-American was ever so honored by the city. He was buried with full honors at the Arlington National Cemetery.

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