The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad
Launched in 2005 in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Rhythm
Road: American Music Abroad
has already sent 118 musicians from 31
jazz, urban or American roots music ensembles to 97 countries. In the
tradition of the original Jazz Ambassadors program that sent Dizzy
Gillespie, Louis Armstrong and Dave Brubeck on world tours during the
Cold War era, Rhythm Road brings American culture to audiences around
the globe through person-to-person exchanges, focusing particularly on
those in more remote areas.

Rhythm Road artists are the new generation of musical ambassadors,
reaching beyond concert halls to interact with other musicians and the
general public. Their direct engagement with foreign audiences via
workshops, master classes and jam sessions presents a positive image of
the U.S. and provides a greater understanding of our society. The U.S.
artists themselves deepen their knowledge of other cultures, enhance
their creativity, and feel the pride of representing their country.

Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the 10 ensembles who will
tour with
The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program in 2010.
More than 130 American music groups from across the United States
specializing in jazz, urban/hip hop and other American roots music -
blues, bluegrass, Cajun, country, gospel and zydeco - applied for the
opportunity to share their music with the world to promote
cross-cultural understanding, with special emphasis on countries not
often visited by American musicians.  Three judges selected 10
ensembles from among 35 who were invited to audition in New York
City.  Selected for their artistic integrity, musical ability and educational
skills, these talented groups will travel to more than 40 countries
between March and November 2010:

Charlie Porter Quartet - Jazz - New York, NY
Chen Lo and the Liberation Family - Hip Hop - Brooklyn, NY
Johnny Rodgers Band - American/Pop - New York, NY
Little Joe McLerran Quartet - Blues - Tulsa, OK
Mark Sherman-Tim Horner Quartet - Jazz - New York, NY
Nasar Abadey and SUPERNOVA - Jazz - Washington, DC
Oscar Williams and Perfected Praise - Gospel - St. Louis, MO
Paul Beaudry & Pathways - Jazz - New York, NY
The Student Loan - Bluegrass - Portland, OR
Turning Pointe - Gospel - Atlanta, GA

International tour activities will include public concerts, master classes,
lecture-demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions, collaborations with
local musicians and media outreach.  Over the past four seasons, 118
musicians from 31 ensembles have toured with the program, visiting 97
countries on five continents.

Ensembles travel around the globe for approximately one month from
March through December 2010. The program also incorporates free
performances by each ensemble hosted in New York by Jazz at Lincoln
Center at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz
at Lincoln Center, and in Washington, D.C. presented by National
Geographic Live! at the Grosvenor Auditorium.

For more information visit
The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. In
addition, you can visit the
US Department of State Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs website.
Little Joe McLerran Quartet
Selected to Tour the World for
Jazz at Lincoln Center
The Little Joe McLerran Quartet performs at Cultural Hall, Manama, Bahrain, April 1, 2010.
Photo by Frank Stewart for Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
The Band
Little Joe McLerran Quartet (Tulsa, OK) is a collective of seasoned
musicians drawn from the ranks of Tulsa’s finest, who came together
specifically for The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. The ensemble
brings blues to life through the study and performance of this unique
American roots genre, and all players are deeply committed to keeping the
blues alive and bringing the music to diverse audiences. Little Joe
McLerran Quartet believes that blues explores music from many cultures
and is filled with possibilities. In its unique approach, this ensemble
presents blues and American roots as a “Soup Recipe,” which has been
stirred, mixed, handed down, and revised by generations of people who
brought their music from all over the world to America. Little Joe
McLerran Quartet members describe their style as simple, supportive,
inspired, and above all else, inventive.  

Joseph McLerran (guitar) is a guitarist from Boulder, Colorado who now
calls Tulsa home. McLerran started playing the guitar at the age of eight,
and has since released four albums: Son Piedmont and the Blues Krewe,
The Hard Way, Live at Last and I Believe I'll Make a Change. This genuine,
dedicated musician has devoted his life to learning everything he can
about the blues. McLerran tours and plays at music festivals around the
country and throughout Europe. McLerran won first place at the 25th
Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February 2009,
competing against 63 solo/duo acts from around the world. Check out
Little Joe's website for more information.

David Berntson (harmonica) plays the diatonic and chromatic harmonica in
the blues style, and describes himself as both musician and passionate
educator. Berntson has played the blues harmonica for over 40 years and
he is the recipient of the 2006 “Keeping the Blues Alive in Education”
award from the Blues Foundation. In addition to performing and recording,
Berntson regularly presents blues education and harmonica workshops in
schools and at festivals throughout the United States and Europe.
Berntson resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Robbie Mack (bass) is an acclaimed bassist and songwriter from Boulder,
Colorado. A musician with many talents, Mack began as a drummer in the
third grade school band before taking up the guitar in junior high. He
finally discovered his niche as a bassist in 1960. Throughout an impressive
50-year career, Mack has achieved three major label recording contracts
and toured internationally in the 1960s with the Astronauts (RCA Records).
Mack gives private guitar lessons, and currently resides in Sapulpa,

Ron Mac McRorey (drums) is a drummer and percussionist from Tulsa,
Oklahoma. He started playing at the age of nine and has since developed a
style that is a mix of soul, roots, blues, and rock & roll. He has performed
at Carnegie Hall, the Woodstock ten year reunion, and worked with an
array of prominent musicians including Rick Danko, Paul Butterfield, Asleep
at the Wheel, and Hank Ballard. McRorey was a 2007 regional winner in the
band category in the International Blues Challenge, and he has played
internationally in Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and at the Dutch and French Blues
The Tour
The Little Joe McLerran Quartet will be touring the Middle East from
March 27-April 22, 2010.  

Countries include:
March 28 - April 3 - Bahrain
April 4 - April 11 - Saudi Arabia
April 12 - April 15 - Kuwait
April 16 - April 22 - Oman

US Concert Dates
June 3, 2010 - Washington, DC concert, presented by the National
Geographic Society at Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW, 7:15 pm.

June 5, 2010 - New York City concert, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola,
Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at
60th Street, 5th floor, 2:00 pm.
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