Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Context||Rehearsals in preparation for State Department-sponsored tours during the Cold War|
|Audience||Iola and Dave Brubeck|
|Purpose||To promote a more positive image of American race-relations|
During the height of the Cold War, America faced an image problem overseas because of its civil rights violations, which undermined its claim to equality and freedom. To combat this unfavorable portrayal, the State Department developed a cultural exchange program featuring the Jazz Ambassadors," a group of touring musicians that included Louis Armstrong and Dave Brubeck. The State Department chose the Jazz Ambassadors because they represented a uniquely American genre of music--many African Americans musicians played jazz--hoping that this would promote a more positive image of American race-relations. The Jazz Ambassadors toured nations that had not aligned with the Soviets or the United States. While Armstrong showed American cultural strength, however, he also remained a steadfast critic of U.S. racism. On the jazz tours, Armstrong, and Dave and Iola Brubeck satirized the tours through their music, as well as the assumption that America's race problem could be solved with a cosmetic fix to its tarnished international image.