music

They came, they jammed, they danced to Cuban hip-hop, but did they conquer? A group of American cultural officials and a dozen entertainers and other artists returned Thursday from a four-day cultural diplomacy mission to Cuba that was sponsored by the U.S. government and billed as the first of its kind since the thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host "Jazz at the White House," airing on International Jazz Day, Saturday, April 30 (8-9pm EST), on ABC. The one-hour primetime television special will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the truly American art form of jazz.

The latest U.S. delegation planning a Cuba trip since the thaw in relations is a government cultural mission that will include Usher, Smokey Robinson, and Lourdes Lopez, artistic director of the Miami City Ballet. [...] The delegation hopes to identify more opportunities for people-to-people artistic and cultural collaborations.

More than 30 young musical talents (ages 10 to 17) from the UK are in Abu Dhabi this week for a first-of-its-kind music student exchange programme between Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and its British parent school. Both students and teachers from the UK’s 150-year-old Cranleigh School will work with students in the Saadiyat Island-based Abu Dhabi school during the week-long Cranleigh Festival that will feature workshops and public performances.

This month, the Brazilian embassy in Jordan will promote the Brazilian Gastronomy Week in the capital Amman. The dinners will take place at the hotel Grand Hyatt Amman from April 19 to 27. Around 120 guests are expected each night. [...] The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce is supporting the event, providing the contact of member companies interested in having their products in the dinners. 

SBS’s deal with the European Broadcasting Union to develop a Eurovision Song Contest equivalent in Asia is a welcome chance for Australia to develop stronger ties with the Asia-Pacific region. The development of an Asian Eurovision - an “Asiavision”, we might call it - is an exciting project for regional unity.

Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s trailblazing visit to Cuba, a free concert by the Rolling Stones in Havana might seem like a relatively minor event. Obama revived relations with Cuba after more than a half-century of deep hostility. The septuagenarian Stones just played some very loud music. And yet, symbolically, the concert was not minor at all.

French culture will be celebrated in Korea throughout 2016, as the year marks the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and France. [...] The 2015-2016 Korea-France Year kicked off in Paris last year with more than 150 cultural programs featuring traditional and contemporary Korean music, visual arts, films and literature hosted in France. 

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