Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The Brian Horton Quartet will play a series of jazz concerts and conduct master music classes during their tour of Tashkent, Samarkand and Guliston in June.
The quartet from Durham, North Carolina, has a sound rooted in blues and jazz sounds as they explore multi-cultural rhythms and improvisation. Saxophonist and composer Brian Horton, drummer Jaimeo Brown, bass player Ameem Saleem and pianist Ernest Turner have played with jazz greats like Branford Marsalis to American popular music icons Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana.
Their tour of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Azerbaijan is part of the Rhythm Road Music Abroad Program, which is organized by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York and the U.S. State Department.
The Brian Horton Quartet started the Uzbekistan leg of their tour on 13 June with a concert at the Turkiston Palace in Tashkent, where they performed with local singer Aysel Balich. On 14 June, they played with local musicians at the Jazz Club in the Tashkent Photography House, which regularly hosts jazz concerts on Sundays.
On 15 June, the Brian Horton Quartet led master music classes at the Niyaziy Tashkent State Music College and at the Uspenskiy Republican Academic Specialized Music Lyceum.
They will travel to Samarkand on 16 June for a performance at 6 p.m. at the El Merosi Concert Hall, and on 17 June the will play at 12:30 p.m. at the Information Resource Center Building in Guliston.
The Rhythm Road program sends bands that play American roots music such as jazz, blues, bluegrass and country music on overseas tours. In the last three years, groups have toured 89 countries from Brazil to the Republic of Congo and the Pacific Island nation of Fiji.
The program descends from the Jazz Ambassadors program, which started in the 1950s and included tours by such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck.
Alina Romanowski, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, said the connections made by touring musicians and the countries they visit emphasize nations’ similarities while celebrating their differences.
“Cultural diplomacy allows artists and audiences to share in a common experience that reaches beyond differences in culture, religion, language and generations, and to connect as people without borders,” she said. “That is what The Rhythm Road is all about.”