Dave Brubeck on cultural exchange

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Cultural Exchange," CD: The Real Ambassadors

Dave Brubeck: We were just a little too early for Broadway. But we weren't too early to go to where President Eisenhower wanted us to go.

In the late 1950S, NEA Jazz Master Dave Brubeck was part of a historic cultural exchange program - now largely forgotten. Under the leadership of President Dwight Eisenhower, the State Department sent American jazz musicians to unstable regions of the world as cultural ambassadors. In addition to Brubeck, the group included Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong...

MUSIC: (Armstrong's vocal begins)

"Yeah, I remember when Diz was in Greece back in '57. He did such a good job, we started sending jazz all over the world..."

(song dips and fades along with Brubeck singing lyrics)

Dave Brubeck: My wife wrote a song for Louie Armstrong to sing, "The State Department has discovered Jazz. It reaches folks like nothin' ever has. When our neighbors called us vermin, we sent out Woody Herman, that's what we call 'Cultural Exchange!'" (laughs) It's a great tribute to cultural exchange.

MUSIC: continues - cut to instrumentals

..."Cultural Exchange" written for Louis Armstrong by Dave and Iola Brubeck from their travels together as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department. This Jazz Moment with pianist Dave Brubeck was created by the National Endowment or the Arts. I'm Delfeayo Marsalis.

Dave Brubeck on cultural exchange