Jazz International Day: Ambassador’s Residence hosts a Concert

US Ambassador with one musician
U.S. Ambassador with one musician

As part of its cultural and educational programs and in commemoration of April 30 Jazz International Day, Ambassador David Gilmour hosted an all-star jazz performance by Togolese musicians at his residence on April 29. The diplomat, also an accomplished saxophonist, even joined the local musicians in the program featuring American, . The sixty guests got the opportunity to appreciate concepts of trust, friendship, love and devotion to hard working expressed in the compositions.  The ambassador also shared the true story of Jazz music: “Most people think of jazz as American music.  But at its heart, jazz is an African music.  The instruments we use to play jazz are European, but the essential elements of the music have their origins in Africa.  Those elements include complex rhythms, call and response dialogue between musicians, syncopation, and the most important element: improvisation.  Those characteristics were all brought to America by slaves from West and Central Africa.  Of course, those same elements were also carried by slaves to Brazil and the Caribbean, where they influenced the development of popular music such as reggae, calypso and samba.” For excerpts from the live performance, check out our USEmbassyLome Youtube page: http://bit.ly/1W8jdyH