Julius Eastman


About Julius Eastman

The music of African American composer Julius Eastman has been revived increasingly often since his death in 1990. Eastman was a pioneer not only as an openly gay and Black composer in the 1970s but also as one who incorporated elements of free jazz and pop into a minimalist compositional language. The late '70s and early '80s were among his most prolific years, giving some of his works provocative titles like Gay Guerrilla. Eastman later grew despondent over the lack of opportunities he encountered, began to abuse drugs, was homeless for a time, and when he was evicted from an apartment, lost many of his music manuscripts. Eastman died of cardiac arrest in Buffalo on May 28, 1990. His death was almost unnoticed; eight months later, music critic Kyle Gann wrote one of his few obituaries. The chamber group Wild Up issued a recording of Eastman's Femenine in 2021.

New York, NY, United States
October 27, 1940
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