Photo exhibit shows jazz legends as ambassadors to the world
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
A collection of more than 50 photos showing jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis as they traveled the world as “Jazz Ambassadors” will be on display for three months in Tashkent and Bukhara.
The exhibit “Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World” is a collection of photos and historical documents on loan from the archives of the Smithsonian Institution, various university libraries, and museums devoted to the history of jazz. Together they tell the story of the Jazz Ambassadors program, in which leading American musicians from the 1950s to 1970s spread friendship and built cultural ties around the world.
Many of the photos capture fascinating moments in music and world history: There’s Louis Armstrong laughing with liberation leader Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana in 1956, followed by a shot of Armstrong and his band playing to a crowd estimated at nearly 500,000 in Accra, Gold Coast. One shot shows Duke Ellington getting mobbed by fans during his 1971 tour of the former Soviet Union, while another shows him playing for Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in 1973, one year before he was deposed by a Communist-backed insurgency.
One photo portrays Dizzy Gillespie playing his trumpet in front of a swaying cobra at a bazaar in Pakistan, while another shows Benny Goodman posing with traditional dancers in Bangkok, Thailand.
The US Government continues the tradition of bringing jazz and other forms of American music to the people of the world, including recent visits to Uzbekistan of jazz bands like the Brian Horton Quartet and the Ari Roland Quartet.
The Jam Session photo exhibition will be open to the public from February 11 to March 5 at the National Art Gallery of Uzbekistan in Tashkent and from 12 March to 5 April at the Art Museum of K. Behzod in Bukhara. The exhibition is timed to coincide with Black History Month, in which events take place each February to educate people about the role of African Americans in the culture of the United States.