The Jazz Ambassadors is the title of a new film documenting the initiative by the U.S. State Department under the Eisenhower administration to send jazz musicians abroad to promote democracy and build bridges with the artistic and intellectual communities behind the Iron Curtain and throughout the Middle East in 1958, in the midst of the Cold War.
The documentary is directed by Hugo Berkeley. It will be screened on PBS on May 4 at 10 p.m. EDT, and will also be shown in the United Kingdom on BBC4 that same day, and on Arte in France on May 20.
PBS writes on its website: “Drawing on an incredible performance archive and detailed personal accounts of the tours, as well as cinematic re-constructions of crucial sequences, the film immerses viewers in this thrilling journey, accompanied by a truly swinging soundtrack.”
Watch a trailer for The Jazz Ambassadors in the player below: