Arts & Culture Diplomacy:
"America's Jazz Ambassadors" Exhibition
“Cultural Diplomacy” – employing the arts to promote international and inter-cultural understanding – has often helped the United States share its message abroad, sometimes at critical moments in American foreign policy.
During the Cold War 1950s – 1970s, America’s cultural ambassadors were the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
Under a special program of the US Department of State, the Jazz Ambassadors took "America’s classical music” to millions of listeners in Eastern Europe, South and Central Asia, the African Continent, and Latin America. In many cases, this was the first time American jazz was heard in live performance behind the Iron Curtain.
Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. created an extraordinary photographic exhibit (http://www.meridian.org/jazzambassadors), toured it around the world, and partnered with World Partnerships for the only presentation of the exhibition in the State of Florida.
Presented by World Partnerships, Inc. in October - November 2010 - in partnership with the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association and the St. Petersburg Museum of History - “Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World” is a collection of 100 photos and posters from the global journeys of these jazz greats.
Above left, Randy Weston, Jazz Ambassador and legendary composer/pianist, opened the exhibition with a solo piano concert featuring many of his most renowned compositions.