HAPPY SUNDAY, BIBA READERS!
Last week BIBA was on hiatus due to traveling and working with students at the Conservatory Lab Charter School for an exciting collaboration between their students and Castle of our Skins for the Celebrity Series Dorchester String Fest! COOS is excited to present this project December 1st, and the the two commissioned new works will be performed again December 5th! Details coming soon!
Today, however, is a very special day. It is Veterans Day. And this particular Veterans Day coincides with the first Veterans Day ever, which was called Armistice Day. The first celebration occurred exactly 100 years ago today, the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect (according to Wikipedia) at the end of World War I. Armistice Day was renamed to Veterans day in 1954. With that said, I would like to take this BIBA to honor two Black composers who were Veterans: Chevalier de Saint-Georges and Ed Bland.
However, from a young age, Edward senior exposed young Ed Bland to writer discussions with Richard Wright and others, and told Ed to read books by Bertram Russel and others. Consequently, Ed developed an analytical and philosophical mind. He made powerful, controversial statements in his music, in his film “The Cry of Jazz” (available to watch on YouTube), and in his writings, many of which can be found on his website. After his service, he made sure to study philosophy along with music because he was acutely aware that he needed the mental tools to defend his musical decisions. He was a fighter through his music and artistic practice, and a musician in his naval service.
Let’s not forget to honor those veterans in our lives on this Armistice/Veterans Day!