Jazz has had a long history of inspiring Modern Occultism from Count Basie holding the sonic keys to Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Teratomas, to Harry Everitt Smith’s transcription painting of a musical piece by Dizzy Gillespie, and that ain’t even scratching the surface of this Musical Subterranean Current – BWH
The secret history of the jazz greats who were freemasons
from the Guardian by John Lewis
Jazz and freemasonry are unlikely bedfellows, but in the 1950s, the secret society became a support network for musicians and the world’s largest fraternity for black men, among them Duke Ellington and Sun Ra
This month, the City of London Festival will host two Duke Ellington tributes in this elaborate, neo-classical masonic temple, now in the basement of the Hyatt group’s Andaz hotel. Saxophonist Tommy Smith plays on 4 July, and pianist Julian Joseph on 11 July.
“It’s something of a badge of honour to hear that Ellington was a mason,” says Joseph. “Not only was he part of a musical elite, but he had managed to enter this secretive and powerful organisation, one that only the privileged few had access to.”
Start digging into the history of freemasonry and you discover that Ellington was just one of many renowned African-American musicians to be inducted into its mysterious world. He was joined by the likes of Nat King Cole, WC Handy, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Paul Robeson.
read full article @ The Guardian : The secret history of the jazz greats who were freemasons
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