A Collection of New Cotillions by Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson (1792-1844) was a Black virtuoso, composer, and bandleader born free in Philadelphia. He was the first African American to publish printed sheet music and the first African American Musician to lead a band on tour of Europe. He influenced generations of musicians.

Listen to A Collection of New Cotillions by Francis Johnson below.

Performed by Donald Lee III, courtesy of Indictus Project

Download the sheet music.

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Black Musicians in our Collections featuring Sarah Weatherwax 

A Library Company Virtual Collection Review Wednesday, December 1 at 7:00 pm EST

Although Black professional musicians such as Philadelphia bandleader Francis Johnson, vocalist Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, and composer James Reese Europe had a significant impact on American music, their contributions are not widely known today. Join Sarah Weatherwax, Senior Curator of Graphic Arts and curator of the Library Company’s 1997 exhibition, A Noteworthy City: Music in Philadelphia, 1750-1915, as she shares the stories of professional and amateur Black musicians as seen through the Library Company’s collection of sheet music, broadsides, books, graphics, and ephemera.