In Dahomey "Cakewalk Smasher"

Arranged for Concert Band by David J. Miller

Percy Grainger / David J. Miller


In 1903, Percy Grainger attended an off-Broadway performance of Will Marion Cook’s In Dahomey, and was impressed with the cakewalk dancing of the two lead characters, George Walker and Bert Williams. It should be noted that this musical of Cook’s was the first Broadway production ever to be written by a black composer. Grainger took a theme from Cook’s musical, and began improvising a cakewalk of his own during his piano recitals. As Grainger’s piece evolved, he added a melody from a foxtrot of Arthur Pryor’s. In 1909, Grainger decided to finally write down a concert version of his improvised piece. He titled it In Dahomey: Cakewalk Smasher. However, by this time, the cakewalk style was no longer as popular as it had been a few years earlier. Grainger put the piece aside, and his manuscript lay in a drawer for 78 years. It was rediscovered in 1987, and was published for the first time that year.

The Navy Band premiered this new transcription at the 2014 Midwest Clinic conducted by Capt. Brian Walden.

Title Part / Version Stock Price   
In Dahomey Score & Parts $215.00 0
In Dahomey Full Score $57.00 0

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