Improvisation ~ Innovation ~ Freedom
The programming was inspired by U.S. foreign policy that utilized jazz as a cultural export. In 1956, President Eisenhower initiated an agenda with the State Department to employ jazz musicians as goodwill ambassadors to help spread American values, culture, and democracy around the world. The U.S. Government recognized jazz as the true American art form that embodies and manifests individualism, egalitarianism, and freedom.
As master jazz musicians, Paul Murphy and Larry Willis not only understand, but demonstrate and communicate these concepts. Together with Jere Carroll and Dominic Fragman, their totally improvised concerts encompass the essence and history of jazz. The group's work has been recognized by Oxford University Press' Grove Dictionary of American Music as "a new direction in the jazz and art arena." Their concerts and other interactive programming are facilitating the extrapolation of potential, free thinking, and peaceful tolerance for audiences and participants.
The video below discusses the concept and organization of the Spirit of Jazz & Democracy.