Meridian International center is hosting an exhibition, Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World, on Thursday, April 3, 2008. The exhibition will feature photographs and documents drawn from archives around the country. The brochure cover image, shown above, includes Dizzy Gillespie’s horn from a Cuban magazine, held at the University of Florida and scanned for especially for Jam Session. Unfortunately, the magazine is under copyright so we couldn’t put it online, but the Jam Session exhibit will be filled with many important items not online, but far too wonderful to miss. The exhibit:
chronicles the tours of American jazz legends as they traveled the globe on behalf of the U.S. State Department. From the mid-1950s through the 1970s, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and others served as cultural diplomats. They toured through over 35 foreign countries in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, where they played their world-famous music and interacted with citizens—promoting a positive view of the United States at a time when Cold War tensions were at their height.
The exhibit even opens with a concert on April 3, at 6:30pm. See more about the exhibit and related events here. I wish I could make it, but if someone else does, please share comments and photos of the exhibit!