I worked for the US State Department as a Jazz Diplomat
I toured Central Asia with the 5-piece jazz rock band Aberdeen on behalf of the American State Department for three weeks in May. In other words, I was a j a z z diplomat, and it was seriously one of the most amazing and surreal experiences of my life!
We went to Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, two countries I would never have had the opportunity to go to without a program like American Music Abroad. This program is a direct descendant of similar tour that American jazz bands embarked upon during the 1950's and 1960's to promote American cultural interests around the world at the height of the Cold War. It was an incredible honor to be following in the footsteps of luminaries like Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Dizzie Gillespie and Louis Armstrong.
Thanks to Mia, our tour manager over at American Music Abroad, the US embassies in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, the people of Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, and everybody who made this tour possible.
Aberdeen AMA edition was...
Brian Plautz - Sax/bandleader
Jared Yee - Sax
VJ Brown - Guitar
C-Bass Chiriboga - Drums
Me - BASS
American Music Abroad (another shoutout to Mia!)
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