BLACK MONTMARTRE

 

10.11. Cross Club 23:00

Featuring DJs and live music, Noise of Art’s Black Montmartre is a collaborative project involving musicians from London, Paris and Prague, celebrating the birth of European jazz and modern clubbing.

Noise of Art’s project is being launched for events in Prague on 10 and 11 November, as part of a European wide event marking the end of World War One. It will then be develped for a year in London and across Europe.

The project is inspired by a jazz band attached to a regiment of black US soldiers who fought for France in WW1, and who after the war settled in Paris to play in the city’s early night clubs. The name Black Monmatre comes from the name given to an area of nightclubs in Paris, where the black US musicians played.

Noise of Art’s Black Montmartre involves jazz and electronic musicans improvising to create a live and vibrant club experience – much as the musicians of Black Montmartre created new live clubbing experiences in Europe 100 years ago.

Further information about the background to the project…

During WW1 a regiment of black American soldiers fought for the French army because the Americans wouldn’t let them fight alongside white soldiers. They became one of the most respected units in the war. The division’s Jazz band toured around France, introducing the French, and Europe, to Jazz. The jazz band was a vital part of the regiment – it existed before the regiment and was created to recruit America’s first Black regiment, by playing on the streets of Harlem.

After the war Black soldiers returning to America faced persecution for getting ‚above‘ themselves‘ . There were more lynchings of black people in 1919 than any other year in American history – often still wearing their US Army uniforms.

Not surprisingly black American jazz musicians chose to move to Paris, where they were treated as artists and citizens.

Soon a new type of music venue emerged, forging the origins of the modern nightclubs in Europe. The centre of this was Black Montmartre.