America's "Jazz Ambassadors":

US State Department

Cultural Diplomacy Initiative

1950s - 1970s


Louis Armstrong in Egypt?

Duke Ellington in Iraq?

Randy Weston in Morocco?

Dave Brubeck in Poland?

Dizzy Gillespie in Iran?  

“Cultural Diplomacy” – employing the arts to promote international and inter-cultural understanding – has often helped the United States share its message abroad, sometimes at critical moments in American foreign policy.


During the Cold War 1950s – 1970s, America’s cultural ambassadors were the great jazz musicians of all time.


Under a special program of the US Department of State, they took America’s “classical music” to millions of listeners in Eastern Europe, East Asia, Africa and Latin America. In many cases, this was the first time American jazz was heard in live performance behind the Iron Curtain. 


Fortunately, there was a photographic record of these “jazz ambassadors.” Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. has created an extraordinary photographic exhibit, sent it around the world, and have now brought it back for a US tour. You can preview "Jam Session" at:


Presented by the International Council of the Tampa Bay Region, “Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World” is a collection of 100 photos and posters from the global journeys of these jazz greats.


The exhibit in St. Petersburg is the only Florida appearance.



Click Below for Details!

"America's Jazz Ambassadors"

Jazz Photography of Herb Snitzer

Events Calendar

Ticket Info


"Jam Session" Community Partners


Media Kit

Media Releases




Sponsored Link:

"When you open your homes, when you open your communities, when you open your hearts to visitors from around the world, you give your guests a chance to see America at our best..."


Colin Powell,
Former US Secretary of State