The Jazz Ambassadors – Trailer

Discover how the Cold War and Civil Rights movement collided when America asked Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to travel as cultural ambassadors and combat racially-charged Soviet propaganda through their music.

AIRED: 5/04/2018 | 00:03:00
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There is but one pure way to avoid global war and that is to win the Cold War Throughout the world there is widespread misunderstanding of the United States.

The Communists are quick to take advantage of this in the lies. They are spreading about us.

One of the police pulled his gun out and pointed it to my forehead and cocked it, and said, I''ll blow your black brains out.

America claims to preach democracy, but in fact we have this kind of based violence going pretty regularly.

The Soviet international media made sure that audiences around the world knew about this.

In retrospect, it seems obvious that my father would have this idea but at the time it was without precedent.

We're going to shift the emphasis to jazz and send these artists over... where they can reach the masses of the people of Asia Africa and, uh, One of the people who were planning to use my friend Dizzy Gillespie.

What do you think about that, Dizzy?

Uh, the weapon that we will use is the cool one.

We got off the plane, they had nine trumpets playing so beautifully, so I pulled mine out and played with them.

5,000 Greeks stage an anti-American riot in Athens.

In Greece, the government said, Send the Gillespie band! We were like the kamikaze band, like send them wherever there''s Well I mean the excitement was, you know, it was really, uh, mind boggling.

There would be three or four armed guards just making sure that they didn''t come over and talk to us.

What are you going to tell the Russians when they ask you about the Little Rock incident?

That all depends what time they send me over there, I don''t think they should send me now, unless they straighten that mess