WELCOME TO THE BLACK RUSSIAN BLOG--DEDICATED TO TOPICS CONNECTED WITH, AND CIRCLING AROUND, MY BIOGRAPHY OF FREDERICK BRUCE THOMAS, THE SON OF MISSISSIPPI SLAVES WHO BECAME A MILLIONAIRE IMPRESARIO IN PRE-REVOLUTIONARY MOSCOW AND 'THE SULTAN OF JAZZ' IN CONSTANTINOPLE To subscribe to this blog's RSS feed, please click on the icon above
"Черный русский" ("The Black Russian") included in the list of "55 books you should buy" (30 for adults, 25 for children) at The 18th International Book Fair for High-Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction, 30th of November to 4th of December 2016, at the Central House of Artists, Moscow: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3144629
The literary critic of "Meduza", Galina Yuzefovich, includes "Черный русский" (Russian translation of "The Black Russian") in her list of "five important non-fiction books of this fall".
Литературный критик «Медузы» Галина Юзефович рассказывает о пяти важных книгах этой осени в жанре нон-фикшн.https://meduza.io/feature/2016/11/19/igry-razuma-i-esche-chetyre-otlichnyh-knigi-v-zhanre-non-fikshn
Here is my review in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (June 26, 2016) of a good new book about a remarkable man and his amazing life, Karl Jacoby's THE STRANGE CASE OF WILLIAM ELLIS: THE TEXAS SLAVE WHO BECAME A MEXICAN MILLIONAIRE:
Pleased to have gotten a one-month residential fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation villa in Bogliasco, Italy, next fall. I'll be continuing work on my new biography: TO BREAK RUSSIA'S CHAINS: BORIS SAVINKOV'S WARS AGAINST THE TSAR, LENIN AND THE BOLSHEVIKS.
Pleased to have received copies of the Turkish translation, in which I was able to include some wonderful new photographs that descendants of people in Russia who knew Frederick Thomas at the beginning of the twentieth century were kind enough to send me.
If anyone would like to see a wonderful new photograph of FBT, which had been in a family archive in Russia for the past century, please see the entry for December 4 in the CORNUCOPIA MAGAZINE blog: http://www.cornucopia.net/blog
Very pleased to announce that the Turkish translation of THE BLACK RUSSIAN has just been published in Istanbul.
I'll be very interested to see the reactions of Turkish readers because Frederick Bruce Thomas played a seminal role in bringing jazz to Turkey and was even called "The Sultan of Jazz" when he died.
I had a very enjoyable visit to Davidson College in North Carolina on September 7-8, with a public lecture about The Black Russian and meetings with two classes in which students had read the book. During the discussions the students raised lots of interesting points and asked intelligent questions, focusing on the "seams" in the story. Many thanks to all the sponsors--the Russian Studies, Africana Studies, and History departments, the Public Lectures Committee, and the Dean Rusk International Studies Program--and especially the organizers, Professor Amanda Ewington and Professsor Roman Utkin (who just completed his Ph. D. in Yale's Slavic Department and joined the Davidson faculty in August, beginning what everyone who knows him also knows will be a brilliant career).
The first preview of the musical based on my biography of Frederick Bruce Thomas will be staged tonight, 7 pm, at Moscow 57, 168 1/2 Delancey Street, NYC. We hope that there will be additional performances scheduled soon. Here is the program:
First Preview Performance
THE BLACK RUSSIAN
Sunday, April 26, 2015, 7 p. m.
Moscow 57, 168½ Delancey Street, N.Y.C.
Starring Tyrone Roberson
Frederick Bruce Thomas
Directed by Mercedes Ellington
Music by Ethan Fein
Lyrics and Book by Vladimir & Sybil Alexandrov
Based on the biography The Black Russian
by Vladimir Alexandrov
Produced by Moscow 57 212.260.5775
The setting is Maxim, Frederick Bruce Thomas’s elegant nightclub in Constantinople in 1926.
1. Sultan of Jazz
2. The Most Southern Place on Earth
3. Going North
4. Simply Being a Man
5. My Black Russian Soul
6. Elvira, My Love
7. All the Glories of the Past
8. Can’t Knock Me Down
9. I Fear the Earth is Moving