Open Rehearsal: Western Addition - “At That San Francisco Fair”

The final Open Rehearsal was at Western Addition Branch Library. Musicians Idris Ackamoor, Minna Choi, Ahkeel Mestayer, Diana Gameros, and Marcus Shelby gathered one more time to play the song At the San Francisco Fair. Photos by Beth LaBerge.

Composed for the Broadway musical Nobody Home, the song At That San Francisco Fair was written by Schuyler Greene, with music by Dabney & Europe and Jerome Kern. The reference is to San Francisco’s 1915 Fair, heralded as a sign of the city rebirth after the 1906 earthquake. Unlike the majority of San Francisco songs in LAPL’s sheet music collection, this one was published in New York, by T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter and the credits reveal a few names critical to understanding the role of African American composers in the history of the NY music scene. The Dabney & Europe duo consisted of Ford Thompson Dabney and James Reese Europe, two influential African American composers, whose works included ragtime, musical theater, jazz standards, among other genres and forms. The two began working in 1910, when Europe created the Clef Club, which functioned as both an orchestra and a society of African American musicians. For more on Dabney and Europe’s legacies, check out Tim Brook’s book Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919.

[Click sheet music to see full size]