Each year the Kennedy Center, in conjunction with the Department of State, selects seven ensembles to represent American music, especially vocal jazz, with performances all over the world. Known as the Jazz Ambassadors, the players are required to travel to regions that don’t usually have the chance to experience performances from American musicians, such as Africa, Latin America and the Near East as well as countries in Asia and Eurasia. This year’s Jazz Ambassadors all have a Latin vibe to them, and they include Annette A. Aguilar and StringBeans, JazzSabrosón, Bob Albanese and Cafe Simpatico, Miguel Zenon & Rhythm Collective, Jazzísimo, Adam Klipple Quartet and Freddie Bryant and Kaleidoscope.
Between October 14 and 22, Bryant and Co. paid a visit to India. In addition to guitarist Bryant (pictured being interviewed for Indian TV), the Ambassadors also include violinist Tom Aalfs, bassist Andrew Eulau and drummer Willard Dyson. The band performed shows in Goa and Mumbai, and they performed in workshops with local musicians during the visit, sharing with them the secrets of jazz and jazz improvisation.
The Jazz Ambassadors then moved on two New Delhi for a series of shows, with two of the performances being dedicated to the memory of slain Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, who was murdered in Pakistan, and had been based in Mumbai.
In other Jazz Ambassador news, this time on the home front, the selection process for the 2004 Jazz Ambassadors is well underway. According to Mary Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy Center, the audition process for the 2004 selections just wrapped up recently, but alas we will have to wait until late January or early February to find out who the selected ensembles will be.
For more information on Jazz Ambassadors visit http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/jazz/ambassadors.
For more info on Freddie Bryant, check out www.freddiebryant.com.Originally Published