By R. Nathaniel Dett
'Juba' is one of the earliest and possibly best compositions by R. Nathaniel Dett. Majoring in composition and piano at Oberlin, in 1908, Dett was the first black person to earn a Bachelor of Music degree. A few years later he received a masters from Eastman, then honorary Doctorates from both Oberlin and Howard University. Most of Dett's music-writing and music-making was devoted to the music of his people. 'Juba' is the result of a well-schooled composer making effective use of elements of ragtime. A crowd-pleaser. A Federation Festivals 2014-2016 selection.