The US embassy's Jazz Appreciation Month
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The US embassy in The Gambia, last Saturday August 15th, celebrated its annual Jazz Appreciation Month at the conference hall of the newly built Coco Ocean Hotel in Bijilo.
Barry L Wells, Us ambassador to The Gambia presided over the occasion, which brougt together officials such as staff of the US embassy, government officials, members of the private sector, journalists and musicians as well as Jazz lovers in the country. The embassy's move is in connection to a land mark decision made by the famous Smithsonia Institute and the National Museum of America, located within the heart of Washington DC, USA in 2001. This long time honored institute and museum adopted the month of April as the annual Jazz Appreciation Month, celebrating one of America's unique musical arts.
This rare annual American Jazz Appreciation Month coincided with the embassy's welcomed reception party for three of their newly appointed staff members in the names of Martin Myers- information management specialist, Mike Fitzpatrick - head of the Consular Section and Cindy Gregg- new deputy Chief of Mission. It's widely believed that America is the birth place of Jazz music, which later spread through out the length and breadth of the world. Jazz music, like many other arts and music, got signifigant bearing on the lives of many music lovers in America, Africa and Europe. The Jazz instruments have striking similarities with those music and folklores found through out the world.
The world of arts and music played a significant role towards human, political and economic development in this world. Since the advent of music in this world, it served as a vibrant source of income for millions of people. Renowned artists such as Bob Marley, the late legend of raggae music, Lucky Dubbe of South Africa,Michael Jackson of America, Youssou Ndour of Senegal and our own home breed King of Kora music and cultural ambassador, Jaliba Kuyateh are known for their roles, influence and contributions towards developing, promoting and preserving the spirit of arts and music in the world.
Bob Marley could be specially heard in one of his musical instruments saying, 'Music when it hits you, you feel no pain'. This erudite and an outstanding character in the world of music, is known for his vocal position preaching words of peace,unity and love through his musical intruments.
Ambassador Wells, was quoted as saying at the occasion that, the term Jazz conjures many different concepts and images such as improvisation, collaboration,the call and response cadence of the African -American preacher. He added that for any one who like him, had the pleasure of sitting in on Jazz sessions in clubs of Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris, London, New Orleans and Chicago probably experienced musicians from the audience with their instruments, joining the musicians on the stage.
The US ambassador recalled sitting in the Blue Note Club in Tokyo with a friend, some years ago along with Japanese audience, enjoying a great deal of Jazz music. 'Tonight we celebrate all that is Jazz and friendships, it spawned across the globe.We are delighted you have joined us', he hinted the audience, busy merry making amidst interludes of Jazz music suplied by Batin Band.
Author: Sanna Jawara