The Jazz Ambassadors


Duke Ellington on "American music".

In summer 1963, Duke Ellington headed to the Middle East and India on his first Jazz Ambassador tour. In a rare Swedish Television interview, he discusses the plight of African Americans, their contributions to society, and jazz music as “the American music.”

AIRED: May 04, 2018 | 0:01:27


American Negro very trustingly

have come along a hundred years now

after the Emancipation Proclamation and

of course now their their demands are

coming more strong and as it should be

their blood has been given in every war

and today I mean they've contributed

culturally and this thing that we're in

music I think is that is the music that

is recognized as the American music

which of course is mostly Negro


Ellington's shift to being willing to go

on a tour represent the United States

was very dependent on the fact that the

government was finally moving overtly

and civil rights


in the summer of 1963 following

Kennedy's promise to introduce a

sweeping civil rights bill to Congress

Duke Ellington

headed to the Middle East and India on

his first jazz ambassador tour





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