1881 – James Reese Europe, born on the 22nd of February in Mobile, Alabama, U.S. He was an American bandleader, arranger, composer, a major figure in the transition from ragtime to jazz.
1904 – Studied piano and violin in his youth and about settled in New York City.
1910 – He directed musical comedies and helped organize the Clef Club, a union of African-American musicians.
– The 125-member Clef Club orchestra that he conducted at Carnegie Hall featured an extraordinary instrumentation, including 47 mandolins and bandores and 27 harp-guitars.
1913 – His Society Orchestra was probably the first African-American band to record, when it offered fast versions of ragtime works, typically in 2/4 metre, with urgent rhythmic momentum.
– His band also regularly accompanied the popular white dance team of Irene and Vernon Castle, who popularized the fox-trot and a dance in 5/4 metre, to scores by Europe and his collaborator, Ford Dabney.
1919 – Died in Boston, Massachusetts on the 10th of May.