Good afternoon! Welcome to this concert to celebrate International Jazz Day and the closing of Jazz Appreciation Month.
I am Laura Dogu, Ambassador of the United States in Honduras.
I have only been in Honduras for two weeks, but I want to show my passion for the arts right from the start. As the iconic singer Ella Fitzgerald said, “Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” We definitely did not go wrong with this concert today! I am honored to present the very talented group of young Honduran musicians that make up the Big Band Jazz Youth Collective. This band is an outreach initiative of Hibriduz Jazz.
This afternoon, they will play a repertoire of some of the most distinguished musicians of American jazz, including Count Basie, George Gershwin, Lee Morgan, and Bobby Troup. This concert will also include music from international jazz composers. Throughout this month we recognize the contributions that jazz music has made and continues to make in the culture of the United States. Jazz is a very American musical genre rooted in the spiritual songs of African American slaves. Its influence has spread throughout the world. Free concerts, like the one this afternoon, is a way we contribute to this commemoration. Hibriduz Jazz is a marvelous example of how jazz has cultivated fine musicianship.
Through the Big Band Jazz Youth Collective initiative, its Director Brian Pagoaga is preparing a new generation of artists that will bring fresh and innovative contributions to Honduran music. Later this year, this group of young musicians will participate in virtual workshops with the U.S. artist Sam Reider through the American Music Abroad program.
At the end of this learning experience, both bands will record a musical collaboration together. To give you an idea of the future collaborative piece, today the Big Band Jazz Youth Collective will play a composition by Sam Reider and the Human Hands. Thank you to Hibriduz Jazz for preparing this concert. Thank you to the Honduran Institute of Interamerican Culture for organizing the photography exhibit of the United States Jazz Ambassadors that you saw when you entered the theater. If you did not have the opportunity to see it, be sure to see the exhibition on your way out! These photographs depict U.S. jazz greats during their travels sharing jazz music with foreign audiences around the world. Thanks to all of you for accompanying us today to celebrate jazz music and for the strong partnership between the United States and Honduras.
Thank you and enjoy the concert!