AIT Presents America’s “Jazz Ambassadors” Photo Exhibition at National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

America’s “Jazz Ambassadors” Photo Exhibition (Photo: America’s “Jazz Ambassadors” Photo Exhibition)

PR-0950E | In cooperation with the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the American Institute in Taiwan is pleased to present the international travelling photographic exhibition Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World.  The exhibit will be shown at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung from October 17 to November 29, 2009.

Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World chronicles the history of the famed “Jazz Ambassadors” program, which sent some of America’s most renowned jazz musicians to perform throughout the world during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.  With U.S. government sponsorship, such legendary jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Sarah Vaughn and many others showcased America’s talent and diversity, and the power of music to bridge cultural and political differences.  The exhibition’s 55 photographs beautifully depict the stories of these Jazz Ambassadors and the different activities that characterized their tours.

Developed in collaboration with University of Michigan professor Penny M. Von Eschen and drawn from collections around the United States, Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World captures memorable moments from jazz tours to 35 countries and four continents.  These include Dizzy Gillespie performing before a capacity crowd in Argentina; Louis Armstrong meeting a revered national leader in Nigeria; Benny Goodman entertaining kids in Moscow’s Red Square and many more.  It is the first time that photographs representing this positive experience in American cultural diplomacy have been collected for a single exhibit.

Of the exhibit, AIT American Cultural Center Director Scott Robinson remarked, “With America the birthplace of jazz, and Taiwan displaying an ever greater appreciation for this art form, AIT is honored to present this exhibition in collaboration with the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts at the very moment Taichung celebrates its Jazz Festival.  We hope that audiences from throughout Taiwan will enjoy it.”

AIT will also present several educational programs in conjunction with the exhibit.  To offer perspective on the impact of the international tours by the Jazz Ambassadors, Dr. Gene Aitken, a renowned American jazz scholar and band leader, will offer a lecture and demonstration using local musicians on Sunday, November 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts’ lecture hall.  Professor Hsieh Chi-pin, Artistic Director of the Taipei International Jazz Education and Promotion Association, will offer gallery tours and commentary on Saturday, October 17 at 10:00 AM and Sunday, November 29 at 2:00 PM.

For the exhibition’s hours and directions to the museum, please visit the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts website:

For further information about the exhibition, please visit: