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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

History and Evolution of Jazz

March 19, 2009


Date: 03/24/2009 Location: New York, New York Description: NY Foreign Press Center tour to Lincoln Center State Dept Photo

March 19, 21, 2009, New York, New York
Contact: New York Foreign Press Center

The New York Foreign Press Center in cooperation with Jazz at Lincoln Center organization hosted a local reporting tour which explored the history and evolution of jazz and how its music and its performers have been able to cross international boundaries and bring people together.


The tour took place over two days and consisted of a tour of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s new home, a media availability with its Executive Director Adrian Ellis; a “Jazz Talk” with author Dr. Penny Von Eschen, pianist/composer Vijay Iyer and clarinetist Joe Muranyi; and a tour and briefing of the exhibit, “Jam Session: American Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World.” The second day, journalists were invited to two afternoon Rhythm Road concerts and a media availability with the performing groups after the concerts’ conclusion. Over the two days, twenty two journalists participated in the cultural event. Countries represented included Canada, China, Colombia, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and Trinidad & Tobago.


The tour coincided with and introduced FPC journalists to the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program. Rhythm Road is a co-sponsored program produced by the Jazz at Lincoln Center organization and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is designed to foster a cultural exchange with audiences worldwide. Between February and June 2009, ten music ensembles will visit locations in Africa, Asia, the Balkans, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.