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WETA Arts: July 2020



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The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran, led a revival of the ground-breaking music of James Reese Europe, who was both a renowned jazz bandleader and commander of an all-Black unit in World War I; local filmmaker Malkia Lydia chronicles the reunion of Eastern High School’s 1988 choir, which achieved international success,  and the teacher who inspired three decades of students; Mignotae Kebede’s documentary “What Happened 2 Chocolate City” explores the historical roots of the rise and subsequent challenges of DC’s Black community.


WETA Arts: July 2020

James Reese Europe

James Reese Europe

Learn More: For more information on the life and legacy of James Reese Europe, check out the Library of Congress’ biography. And make sure to check out the National Archives website to learn more about the 369thInfantry and see more photographs of the unit. To learn more about the work of the 369th Experience band, head over to their website.

Experience the Experience: You can watch a full length recording of the 369th Experience performing at the Kennedy Center on the Kennedy Center YouTube channel! Also available on their YouTube channel is a special in-depth exploration of James Reese Europe, led by Artistic Director for Jazz Jason Moran. →

Reunion Choir

Reunion Choir

Learn More: Visit the Reunion Choir documentary page for updates about the film's final leg of production and filmmaker Malkia Lydia! For more on the incredible achievements of the Eastern High School choir, listen to the 1996 interview with choir director Joyce Garret on NPR’s All Things Considered. →

What Happened 2 Chocolate City

Mignotae Kebede

Learn More: To learn more about the director and individuals featured in the documentary, visit the official What Happened 2 Chocolate City? website. For more on the featured DC-based writer and activist Orville the Poet, visit his Facebook page. 

Watch Now: Head to director Mignotae Kebede’s YouTube channel to see the official trailer for What Happened to Chocolate City? →

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