Jazz Diplomacy in Thailand and Around the World

April 30th marks International Jazz Day, the worldwide celebration of America’s original art form. Although the style originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz’s combination of foreign styles and influences has made its music an international genre. Since its creation in the late 1800’s, jazz has evolved into a critically acclaimed and appreciated form of music across the world. Throughout jazz’s rich history, musicians and international diplomats alike have employed the genre for its use as a vehicle of international cultural diplomacy.
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Jazz: A Great American Export

Jazz is one of those rare phenomena that resonate across cultures. Meridian couldn’t help but notice the recent American Security Project article by Chad Tragakis about the United States government’s mass export of this American music genre during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Jazz diplomacy, as it came to be known, introduced and shared a unique piece of American culture to the world by sending jazz legends, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, and Sarah Vaughan, to countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Since then, jazz music...

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Egyptian Group Fabrica begins tour of US

For many members of the Egyptian musical group Fabrica, their current visit to the United States is not their first time coming to the country. However, for many members of the audience at Busboys and Poets on January 20, 2014, it was their first time seeing an all-Egyptian group of singers performing several songs from the musical Les Miserables–especially a performance that was done entirely in colloquial Arabic. Continue