Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 18, 2009


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center and National Geographic Live, will present a free concert featuring musicians of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, on March 19, 2009, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m., at The National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium (1600 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C).

This is the second of a series of five free concerts to give audiences in the United States the opportunity to meet and listen to these talented performers. The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad sends ten American quartets abroad to present original American music, including jazz, urban, and roots. Quartets from across the United States auditioned in New York City. Ten were selected to represent American culture through concerts, jam sessions, classes, and person-to-person interaction with foreign audiences who historically have had few opportunities to meet Americans firsthand. These American musical ambassadors are following in the footsteps of legends Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and other great American jazz performers. Performing will be:

Helen Sung & NuGenerations fuses jazz tradition with musical exploration. Its jazz roots firmly established, this ensemble takes creative risks, sparking new works and innovative performances. A project of bandleader Helen Sung, each member of this New York City-based band represents a different generation of life and musical experience. With diverse backgrounds including classical music, R&B, funk and world-music, and from varied origins across the United States—from the Bay Area to Michigan to Texas to Chicago—Helen Sung & NuGenerations collectively create distinctive music and inspire audiences to participate in and learn more about this great American art form, jazz. They will be touring southern Africa.

Chris Byars Quartet’s rhythms evoke Manhattan’s bustling Times Square in its heyday. This New York-based quartet generates new, inventive music inspired by the 1950s Bop tradition. It has spent years developing relationships with and learning from musicians who thrived during the period. The quartet will tour the Middle East.

For more information visit www.exchanges.state.gov/cultural/rhythm.html and www.jalc.org/TheRoad, or contact:

David C. Grier, 202-203-7007 or GrierDC@state.gov
Catherine Stearns, 202-203-5107 or StearnsCL@state.gov

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PRN: 2009/236