U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center Launch 2010 Season of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad

Media Note
Washington, DC
November 10, 2009

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, is pleased to launch the 2010 tours of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. Over 130 quartets from across the United States applied for the opportunity to serve as citizen diplomats. Three judges selected ten ensembles from among the 35 who were invited to audition in New York City. These ten talented groups will travel to over 40 countries. They will bring original American culture through roots music, including urban, blue grass, gospel and jazz in concerts, jam sessions, workshops, and person-to-person contact with people who rarely have the opportunity to interact with Americans firsthand.

“Music has the power to bridge political, cultural, language and generational differences with audiences around the world,” said Maura M. Pally, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. “Through music we can celebrate both cultural diversity and common ground.

Following in the footsteps of America’s Jazz Ambassadors, including jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck, the Rhythm Road ensembles will travel between March and November 2010 on tours lasting approximately 4 weeks. The program will also feature free public performances by each ensemble at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, D.C. and at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center (to be announced).

The 2010 Rhythm Road tour groups are:
1. The Student Loan   Blue GrassOregon
2. Turning PointeGospelGeorgia
3. Johnny Rodgers BandRock/Jazz New York
4. Mark Sherman-Tim Horner Quartet  Jazz New Jersey
5. Nasar Abadey and Supernova Jazz Fusion Maryland
6. Little Joe McLerran Quartet   BluesOklahoma
7. Oscar Williams and Perfected Praise Gospel GospelMissouri
8. Chen Lo and the Liberation FamilyHip-Hop 
New York
9. Pathways  Jazz New York
10. Charlie Porter Quartet JazzNew York

Visit www.exchanges.state.gov/cultural/rhythm.html and www.jalc.org/TheRoad for more information, or contact: David C. Grier, 202-632-9366 or GrierDC@state.gov; or Catherine Stearns, 202-632-6437 or StearnsCL@state.gov.

PRN: 2009/1129