Anthony Stanco, lecturer in Jazz Studies, leads The Crucial Elements, a nationally recognized five-piece ensemble that has toured the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad program. Notable jazz musicians such as Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong have taken part in this program when it was called Jazz Ambassadors, which has been around since 1961. This summer Stanco spent time in Kyrgyzstan for his sixth U.S. State Department tour.
Q. What has your experience been like with the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad program?
A. It has been a positive one. I’ve been doing tours with my band, The Crucial Elements, since 2013 and we’ve been to a variety of countries including Kyrgyzstan, South Africa and Indonesia. I value the personal stories and the new learned culture I come back with after each trip.
We are really trying to spread love and positivity through music across the world while being ambassadors for America. I wrote two songs titled “Unity” and “Freedom” and we perform these songs at every show as the closer.
"This program is all about promoting cultural exchange.”
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