Shabbat Service & Program Featuring Author Larry Tye, in Conversation with Jazz Musician Bart Weisman about his latest book The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Count Basie Transformed America, with musical accompaniment by Ted Jellinek on Keyboard

Friday, May 10

5-6pm Reception and Book Sales and Signing (Market Street Bookshop)

6pm Shabbat Service followed by The Jazzmen Program

Your RSVP is required. Public access to registration will open soon. Please return to make your reservation. We look forward to welcoming you to this special event.

As part of the May 10 Shabbat service, FJC welcomes Cotuit author and FJC member Larry Tye, who will talk about his latest book, The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Count Basie Transformed America, in conversation with Jazz musician Bart Weisman, and with music from Ted Jellinek on keyboard. Tye's book looks mainly at his maestros' lives off their bandstands and how they wrote the soundtrack for the civil rights revolution. He'll also zero in on the Black-Jewish Alliance of old -- reflected by their Jewish managers, bandmates and mates -- and look at how we might reforge those bonds in this difficult era.

You may purchase a copy of The Jazzmen at the reception or pre-order it through the Market Street Bookshop; call them at (508) 539-6985

About The Jazzmen [HarperCollins Publisher]

From the New York Times bestselling author of Satchel and Bobby Kennedy, a sweeping and spellbinding portrait of the longtime kings of jazz—Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie—who, born within a few years of one another, overcame racist exclusion and violence to become the most popular entertainers on the planet.

This is the story of three revolutionary American musicians, the maestro jazzmen who orchestrated the chords that throb at the soul of twentieth-century America.

  • Duke Ellington, the grandson of slaves who was christened Edward Kennedy Ellington, was a man whose story is as layered and nuanced as his name suggests and whose music transcended category.
  • Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in a New Orleans slum so tough it was called The Battlefield and, at age seven, got his first musical instrument, a ten-cent tin horn that drew buyers to his rag-peddling wagon and set him on the road to elevating jazz into a pulsating force for spontaneity and freedom.
  • William James Basie, too, grew up in a world unfamiliar to white fans—the son of a coachman and laundress who dreamed of escaping every time the traveling carnival swept into town, and who finally engineered his getaway with help from Fats Waller.

What is far less known about these groundbreakers is that they were bound not just by their music or even the discrimination that they, like nearly all Black performers of their day, routinely encountered. Each defied and ultimately overcame racial boundaries by opening America’s eyes and souls to the magnificence of their music. In the process they wrote the soundtrack for the civil rights movement.

Based on more than 250 interviews, this exhaustively researched book brings alive the history of Black America in the early-to-mid 1900s through the singular lens of the country’s most gifted, engaging, and enduring African-American musicians.

About Larry Tye

Larry Tye is the New York Times bestselling author of Bobby Kennedy and Satchel, as well as DemagogueSupermanThe Father of SpinHome Lands, and Rising from the Rails, and coauthor, with Kitty Dukakis, of Shock. Previously an award-winning reporter at the Boston Globe and a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, he now runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship. He lives on Cape Cod.