Meridian International Center and U.S. Embassy in Beijing Bring World Renowned Jazz Exhibition to China


Priya Doshi, 202.939.5559

Beijing, CHINA – May 4, 2012 Meridian International Center is collaborating with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on the opening of a three-week exhibit of rare photographs at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The exhibit, created by Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C., is called Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace the World and features photos of musicians who, as part of a U.S. Department of State initiative, were international “ambassadors of jazz” from the 1950s through the 1970s. The jazz ambassadors exhibit, which has been viewed by millions of people and displayed in more than thirty five countries, demonstrates the richness of American cultural heritage and serves as a powerful public diplomacy tool.

The exhibit opening on May 7, 2012 will follow the U.S. Department of State’s 2012 Consultations on People to People Exchanges (CPE), an initiative to broaden and deepen U.S.-China relations across a broad spectrum of areas including culture, women, sports, education, science and technology. Meridian International Center is one of four partners selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent the U.S. as part of the CPE’s Culture Pillar.

“We are honored to be a partner with the U.S. Department of State to represent American culture in China,” said Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center. “We look forward to opening the jazz ambassadors exhibit, which offers an important and engaging view of the U.S, in Beijing’s most prestigious venue.”

The curator of the exhibit and Meridian Senior Vice President for the Arts, Dr. Curtis Sandberg added, “This exhibit which has touched millions around the world, shows that diplomacy can exist in many forms. Cultural exhibits offer a unique way for people from different cultures to engage with one another and learn about one another’s interests, history, and heritage.”

Jam Session will be opened by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and Meridian International Center on May 7, 2012 from 3pm-5pm at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. More information and photos from the exhibit can be viewed here: Ambassador Holliday and Dr. Sandberg are honored to be joined for the opening by Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Robert S. Wang, as well as Madame Li Hong, Deputy Director General of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations at the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and Madame Li Xiaolin, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

In 2011, Meridian International Center and Mme. Zhao Shaohua, Vice Minister of Culture for the People’s Republic of China, signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding between Meridian and the China International Culture Association. Subsequently, Meridian launched the American-Chinese Cultural Initiative to promote high-level connections between American and Chinese businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities in support of shared cultural projects. The jazz ambassadors exhibition opening will serve to launch ACCI in China.

Chinese language coverage of the CPE in China.