Rifftides Washington, DC, correspondent John Birchard alerts us to a tribute concert by an international quintet of major jazz musicians who were affected by the Voice of America’s Willis Conover. If you live in the DC area, make your reservation early.
The Voice of America and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival are hosting a concert in memory of VOA jazz host Willis Conover and in observance of the 50th anniversary of Dizzy Gillespie’s first State Department-sponsored trip.
The concert is free and open to the public and will take place on Monday, September 17th at 7:30 PM in the Cohen Auditorium (at VOA). Cuban-born jazz great Paquito D’Rivera, who himself was influenced by Conover’s broadcasts heard in Cuba, will lead a quintet made up of another Cuban-born musician and three other players from former Soviet Bloc countries:
Performers: Paquito D’Rivera, Musical Director, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet (Cuba); Milcho Leviev, Piano (Bulgaria); George Mraz, Bass (Czech Republic); Valery Ponomarev, Trumpet (Russia); and Horacio Hernandez, Drums (Cuba).
Seating is limited and will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Please e-mail reservations to email@example.com by Sept. 13th. For details, go here.
Prior to this event at 3:00 PM, George Washington University’s Elliott School will hold a forum entitled “Duke, Dizzy and Diplomacy.” For more information, visit the Elliott School calendar.
The Rifftides archive contains several items about Conover, his importance, and the failure of the US government to posthumously award him recognition that he deserved when he was alive. For the first of those pieces, click here, then use the keyword “Conover” to browse the archive for followup comments.