Black Europe – Book and 40 CD project due next year

Forthcoming from Bear Family in 2013 is a 500 page book documenting the sounds and images of musicians and entertainers of African descent who worked in Europe before 1927, from minstrel shows to ethnological documentation, from the earliest ragtime to the emerging syncopated popular music styles and jazz.

The LP sized book, written by researchers Horst Bergmeier, Jeffrey Green, Rainer Lotz, and Howard Rye, will be in a boxed set accompanied by 40 CDs including every recoverable recording from the era, commercial or academic, restored by sound-engineer Christian Zwarg.

The CDs will include the complete output of the African-American string bands which recorded in London in 1916 to 1922, a unique documentation, recordings of authentic minstrelsy and vaudevillian and pioneer blues harp player Pete Hampton, and the earliest recorded examples of stride piano and rhythm scat singing.

From the 1920s will come important records of the earliest jazz including the complete works of Vorzanger’s Band in London and Mitchell’s Jazz Kings in Paris. From Africans come recordings of African languages and folk and religious music including the recordings of Rev. J.J. Ransome Kuti, Fela Kuti’s grandfather.

Interest can be registered now at no cost for news, updates and subscription details by e-mail to stating “I want to be kept informed of the BLACK EUROPE project”.

Click here to download Bear Family advert

Thanks to Howard Rye.

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1 Response to Black Europe – Book and 40 CD project due next year

  1. yves françois says:

    I am very interested in this subject matter, i believe perhaps one of the most important sets of music to come out – I see that 2 esteemed researchers I know – Rainer T Lotz and Howard Rye are involved, this means it will be a fantastic set of music and information, and that preserving the black vernacular music of the early 20th century needs to be done. It will be a set for us all to learn from, to comprehend why this past century’s music is so different then the preceding ones, and, most of all, to enjoy . Thank you for taking the time for this project – Yves Fernand François Smierciak

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