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Easterbrook Discovery Middle School Jazz Band Performs Harlem Airshaft Over Zoom (Spring 2019/2020)

Go to Video Gallery Added Jul 01, 2020
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In the Spring of 2020, Moreland campuses were closed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Easterbrook Discovery Middle School's Jazz Band submitted videos of themselves recording their individual parts to the song "Harlem Airshaft" at their home. Kyle Chesser of Hands On Studio donated his time and expertise to put it all together in this wonderful video. Harlem Airshaft history: According to a 1940 interview with Ellington, it was inspired by everyday noises heard in New York City, specifically the namesake, air shaft found between housing units. Ellington recounted his inspiration in a 1944 interview published in The New Yorker: So much goes on in a Harlem air shaft. You get the full essence of Harlem in an air shaft. You hear fights, you smell dinner, you hear intimate gossip floating down. You hear the radio. An air shaft is one great big loudspeaker. You see your neighbor’s laundry. You hear the janitor’s dogs. The man upstairs’ aerial falls down and breaks your window. You smell coffee. A wonderful thing is that smell. An air shaft has got every contrast. One guy is cooking dried fish with rice and another guy’s got a great big turkey. Guy-with-fish’s wife is a terrific cooker but the guy’s wife with the turkey is doing a sad job. You hear people praying, fighting, snoring. Jitterbugs [dancing] are jumping up and down always over you, never below you. That’s a funny thing about jitterbugs. They’re always over you. I tried to put all that in “Harlem Air Shaft.” This video includes Jazz Band director, Nils Johnson.

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