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.