Jazz Behind the Iron Curtain, 1961–1966

Lisa E. Davenport

in Jazz Diplomacy

Published by University Press of Mississippi

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9781604732689
Published online March 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781604733440 | DOI:
Jazz Behind the Iron Curtain, 1961–1966

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As both modern and traditional jazz gained greater respectability, internationalist impulses dramatically intensified in the Soviet bloc. American and Soviet officials acknowledged the strong appeal of jazz among the Soviets even as Soviet jazz debates raged and often revolved around jazz music as Soviet intellectual property. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs increasingly viewed Soviet jazz in the context of cultural internationalism and accordingly changed its approach to cultural diplomacy with Soviet bloc nations. Cultural activities as part of jazz diplomacy began to target those countries that had grown increasingly independent from Moscow by espousing national communism in the 1950s and 1960s. A turning point in the Cold War cultural divide between Americans and the Soviets was the visit of the Polish jazz group the Wreckers to the United States in July and August 1962 to perform at the International Jazz Festival in Washington, D.C.

Keywords: jazz music; Soviet bloc; Cultural Affairs; cultural internationalism; cultural diplomacy; cultural activities; Cold War; Wreckers; jazz diplomacy

Chapter.  5922 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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