Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World – an exhibit of photographs featuring legendary American Jazz greats – opened in style on March 17 at ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The sounds and style of a distant era greeted guests who were arrayed in pearls and boutonnieres. The long strings of pearls were costume jewelry, but the music was authentic – performed by the Groovin’ High Quintet of the Center for Jazz Studies at the Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv. Selections from Dizzie Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Quincy Jones were performed by: Maya Gur (vocals), Itamar Shatz (tenor saxophone), Ian Ilon (guitar), Max Olarchik (contrabass) and Liad Alon on drums, outstanding students who participate in the Center’s joint program with The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, NYC.
US Ambassador and Mrs. James B. Cunningham welcomed the guests, as well as Dr. Eli Fischer, who founded the Dvora Fischer Gallery at ZOA House in memory of his wife.
Doron Polak curated the elegantly displayed exhibit, which is part of a touring exhibit documenting America’s jazz diplomacy at the height of the Cold War era in the 1950s.
The event marked the end of another era, as Lily Obadiah made her last formal appearance as Cutural Program Specialist for the US Embassy Public Affairs Office.
Midnight East joins all her fans in wishing Lily joy and success in all her new adventures.
From Duke Ellington chilling with a nargila to Louis Armstrong surrounded by a throng of children the photographs convey the mood and energy of the moment and the power of music as an international language.
The exhibit will be open through April 20 at ZOA House, 26 Ibn Gvirol Street, Tel Aviv, from 7:00 – 23:00. Entrance is free.
More photos of the opening party on Midnight East’s flickr page.