‘Jam Session’ spotlights jazz ambassadors
By NINA ELLIOTT
A traveling photo exhibit with more than 100 images of legendary jazz musicians is on display through May 25 at Downtown Campus.
The free exhibit is in the second-floor lobby of the Campus Center Building.
“Jam Session: America’s Jam Ambassadors Embrace the World” depicts musicians selected by the U.S. State Department to serve as roving cultural ambassadors from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Featured musicians include Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Sarah Vaughn and Dave Brubeck.
The photographs chronicle a federal initiative to promote a positive view of the United States during the Cold War. The musicians toured areas such as the Middle East, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and North Africa.
“Not only is jazz an exhilarating form of music, but it is also a living piece of our culture and history — nationally and locally in Tucson,” said Patricia Houston, academic dean at Downtown Campus.
“The Jam Session exhibit traces the musical art form through its cultural, artistic and even historical and political impact on the world and now we can connect it right back to Tucson and our own rich jazz traditions here,” Houston said. “We are delighted to be able to offer this glimpse of history to our students and the local community.”
The exhibition has toured 35 countries, and will head to Beijing, China, when it leaves PCC.
Tucson sponsors are PCC, the Tucson Jazz Society and the Meridian International Center, a partner of the U.S. Department of State. An opening reception on April 17 featured the PCC Jazz Ensemble.
“Jam Session: America’s Jam Ambassadors Embrace the World”
When: Through May 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays
Where: Downtown Campus, Campus Center building, second-floor lobby