Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq

In the beginning was the word...and the word was OM!

The Ebony Big Band

The Ebony Big Band, led by the director and curator Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq, performs and shares the story of the African American's struggles and achievements during the time of the Harlem Renaissance to the end of WW2 ( 1920s -1945). Along with slides, video clips and narration, they perform works from the great African American composers and big bands of that era such as, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Anna Mae Winburn, Benny Moten. Also represented are the great singers of this time such as Herb Jeffries, Al Hibbler, Jimmy Rushing, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, and Lena Horne.

We are located in Berlin, Germany and we are an organisation whose purpose is to disseminate the history of Jazz or African American Classical Music, which began in the early beginnings of the 20th century to the present day. Our mission is to perform music from African American, as well as, African Diaspora composers from around the world.

The beginnings of Jazz, as we know it today, coincided with the Marcus Garvey movement, W.E.B. Dubois's Pan African Movement and the development of African American Literature known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Ebony Big Band shares the story of the emergence of African-American culture between the time of the Harlem Renaissance and the end of WWII (1920's -1950). The place in America where all this happened was Harlem, New York, specifically the area in Harlem known as "Jungle Alley" and more specifically in the Cotton Club where only white patrons could enter the Cotton Club while all the service and entertainment was provided by African Americans.

Through the musical sounds of such greats as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Moten, Charles Mingus, Horace Tapscott, Gerald Wilson, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and others our story will be told not only through the music but also through narration, dance and a multi-media presentation of pictures and videos.

We are willing to share our-stories with you and your community wherever in Europe (and beyond). We are an organisation of 18 musicians (instrumentalist), 3 singers and 1 dancer. All inquiries are invited (see contact page).