An all-star group of jazz musicians from Jazz at Lincoln Center's The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program comprising Alvin Atkinson on drums, Charlie Porter on trumpet, Ari Roland on double bass, and Eli Yamin on piano, will tour to the following cities:
- MALI: Bamako (August 18-24)
- INDIA: Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and New Delhi (August 26-Sept 7)
- CHINA: Chengdu and Guangzhou (Sept 7- 13)
The program, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is designed to foster cultural exchange with audiences worldwide. Tour activities include public concerts, master classes, lecture-recitals, workshops, jam sessions, media outreach, and collaborations with local musicians. "Cultural diplomacy allows artists and audiences to share in a common experience that reaches beyond differences in culture, religion, language and generations and to connect as people without borders," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Professional and Cultural Exchanges Alina L. Romanowski. Over the past two years Jazz at Lincoln Center has produced 17 Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad tours visiting 120 cities, in 66 countries, on 5 continents. "In the historic tradition of such musical alumni as Armstrong, Ellington, and Gillespie, these tours focus on diverse geographic audiences and the dynamic interaction born of music. The emphasis on education as well as performance leads to powerful exchange for our audiences and musicians alike," said Susan John, Director of Touring for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Alvin Atkinson, Jr. (drums) grew up singing and playing music with his parents, who were the directors of their church's gospel choir. He became hooked on jazz at the young age of eight and has been balancing a career as a performer and an educator for over 15 years. Atkinson has played alongside artists such as Houston Person, James Carter, Cecil Bridgewater, Reggie Workman, Miguel Zenon, Maceo Parker, Luis Perdomo, Steve Turre, Vanessa Rubin, and Wycliffe Gordon. He has also performed at The White House for President George W. Bush and as the house drummer for the Emeril Live television show on the Food Network. Atkinson has toured both domestically and internationally and participated in a U.S. State Department tour of Africa and South America in 2004. He currently teaches Jazz Language and Rhythm Studies at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Middle School Jazz Academy and serves on the audition committee and sophomore jury committee at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.
Charlie Porter (trumpet) is a New York-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader, and is equally at home playing both jazz and classical music. He has performed and recorded with such notable musicians as Paquito D'Rivera, David Taylor, and Kenny Drew, to name a few. A core member of Kristjan Jarvi's Absolute Ensemble, Porter has toured extensively in Europe and Australia. He earned his undergraduate degree at The Juilliard School and then studied for one year at The Paris Conservatory as a Fulbright Scholar with French master-trumpeter Guy Touvron. Among the many awards to his credit, Porter was the first musician ever to be awarded first prize in the National Trumpet Competition in both the jazz and classical divisions. He was recently commissioned by Chamber Music America and The Doris Duke Foundation to compose a suite for his septet. Porter is currently on scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music in pursuit of a Master's Degree in Jazz Performance, and he performs regularly with various groups in New York City.
Ari Roland (double bass) grew up inside the New York underground bop scene, where performing jazz music is always challenging. Roland began attending sessions with Barry Harris at age 12 and was quickly known as a standout player. He made his way into an inner circle of musicians,