Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 1, 2010


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 musicians of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad, in free concerts on June 3 and 17, 2010, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at The National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium (1600 M Street NW, Washington, D.C).

These concerts are part of a series scheduled from April through December to showcase talented musicians for audiences in the United States. The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad selects ten American quartets to travel abroad to present original American music, including jazz, urban, gospel, and roots. Representing U.S. culture through concerts, jam sessions, classes, and person-to-person interaction with foreign audiences, these musical ambassadors follow in the footsteps of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and other great American performers.

Performing June 3:

Little Joe McLerran Quartet of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a collective of seasoned musicians drawn from the ranks of Tulsa’s finest, who united especially for The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. The group traveled in March and April to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. This ensemble uniquely presents blues and American roots as a “Soup Recipe” that has been stirred, mixed, handed down, and revised by generations of people who brought their music from all over the world to America.

Chen Lo and the Liberation Family, based in Brooklyn, New York, is a hip hop ensemble that maintains the genre's core ingredients, while incorporating the texture of live instrumentation. The group traveled in March and April to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The distinctive sound of this dynamic collective draws from historic and contemporary events, simple elements of life, and a myriad of musical influences such as hip hop, jazz, blues, kwaito, soul, rock & roll, R&B, afro-beat, and pop.

Performing June 17:

The Student Loan of Portland, Oregon, brings a fresh voice to the world of American folk music. The Student Loan traveled to Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Colombia. This progressive bluegrass quartet incorporates jazz, rock, jam, and classical styles, reaching new musical heights through original methods and songwriting.

Charlie Porter Quartet of New York, New York, has a fiery and intelligent approach to jazz that is both forward-thinking and steeped in tradition. The group toured in Turkey, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Throughout their travels, they have gained experience in communicating their music to a wide variety of communities and fostering cultural exchange with local musicians and audiences.

For more information visit www.exchanges.state.gov/cultural/rhythm.html and www.jalc.org/TheRoad, or contact Laura Tischler, 202-632-6454 and TischlerLL@state.gov.



PRN: 2010/708