Dizzy Gillespie, 1956, in the former Yugoslavia
There's a really cool story in the Times today about goodwill Jazz tours sponsored by the State Department in the 1950s and 60s that aimed to boost America's PR during the Cold War. Greats like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie [pictured], and Sarah Vaughan traveled around the world to play jazz for enthusiastic audiences as 'cultural diplomats.' Click here for an equally awesome slideshow.
Music is such a funny thing. It constantly reminds me that we all have a lot more in common than we think we do.