Jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck, traveled overseas during the Cold War to represent "American values" through integrated jazz bands. What president initiated this CIA/State Department-run mission?
Answer Dwight D. Eisenhower
The US was competing for loyalty/relationships from newly autonomous states as a result of the decolonization movement. The government used jazz, a traditional black American music, developed in the south, to represent the US abroad. Why? Black and white musicians playing together at overseas venues helped the US look better abroad while at home blacks fought for their civil rights and experienced racists and limiting laws throughout the country. By using jazz and jazz musicians, the US government thought it would appeal to other people of color in decolonized states, thus helping the US gain political and economic control in those areas during the Cold War against the Soviet Union.
Asked by Colleen Curran · Last updated 4 weeks ago · 243.9K views