Amplifying the 369th Experience

One of America’s most vibrant music ensembles brings a storied past to national audiences.

During World War I, the ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ gained renown for their fierce fighting and dedicated patriotism. Composed entirely of Black Americans, the unit never had a member taken prisoner, nor lost a foot of ground it defended. More than 100 men received awards for valor.

The 369th’s regimental band, led by director James Reese Europe, is credited with introducing Europe to jazz. It has now been recreated as The 369th Experience, enlisting musicians from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the nation to recreate the sound and revive the legend.

Endorsed by the Doughboy Foundation, steward of the nation’s new national World War I Memorial, the 369th’s recent Juneteenth concert event underscored the commitment of both organizations to honor America’s best.