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Voices of Freedom: A Celebration of VOA Jazz and Willis Conover

On Monday, September 17, the Voice of America (VOA) and the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival (DEJF) hosted 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.  Conover influenced a generation of musicians around the world, including Cuban-born jazz great Paquito D'Rivera.  At this concert, D'Rivera lead a quintet made up of another Cuban-born musician and three players from former Soviet Bloc countries -- Milcho Leviev on piano (Bulgaria), George Mraz on bass (Czech Republic), Valery Ponomarev on trumpet (Russia), and Horacio Hernandez on drums (Cuba).

Courtesy Voice of America. It was a tough job creating this video...especially since bandwidth in India is poor. The editing isn't perfect and there's a long lull at the end of the presentation.


Unknown said…
Il ascultam pe Willis Conover in emisiunea sa Jazz Hours in fiecare seara de la ora 22,15 (ora Romaniei)in anii 1970-1974. Era o voce grava, prezenta pe scurt un disc, un muzician sau o piesa, si apoi urma piesa respectiva. Cred ca eram printre milioanele de tineri ascultatori din Europa de Est care stateam cu urechea la radio sa-l ascultam in noapte.
Deepanjan said…
Conover had an indelible influence on many lives all over the world.
Anonymous said…
The Jazz Hour in the former USSR in 1960's made me, then a teenager, the anti-communist. Why? Because the narrow minded revolutionaries could not understand and ultimately banned the good music presented by Willis Conover.
I post anonymous today because the commies are now here in the USA in 2020!!! Having the same bad taste for music and thirst for blood.
But Jesus Christ is coming soon for us.

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