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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KUWAIT1425 2006-04-25 13:54:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

FY06Q3 PROGRAM EVALUATION: NEW ORLEANS ALL-STARS CAME

Tags:   KPAO OEXC OIIP SCUL XF KU 
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VZCZCXRO3973
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHKU #1425/01 1151354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251354Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4127
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001425 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R, NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), IIP/NEA/SCA, ECA/PE/C
(DSCHUMAN), ECA/P (NKLEEKAMP)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OEXC OIIP SCUL XF KU
SUBJECT: FY06Q3 PROGRAM EVALUATION: NEW ORLEANS ALL-STARS CAME
MARCHING IN--KUWAITI AUDIENCES EMBRACE JAZZ BAND

REF: 05 KUWAIT 5163

Summary
-------



1. The New Orleans All-Star Brass Band made a glorious return visit
to Kuwait April 17, 18, and 19, conducting performances and
workshops reaching more than 5,600 Kuwaitis. Each of the group's
five concerts stressed the unique cultural heritage and resilient
spirit of the American people and the beauty of jazz, America's
indigenous music. The traditional sounds that originated in the
streets and alleys of New Orleans enthralled Kuwaiti youth and adult
audiences alike. Embassy offers the strongest recommendation for
employment of this outstanding collection of musicians as cultural
ambassadors worldwide. End Summary.

A Return Engagement


--------------------------





2. Kuwait Public Affairs arranged for the return of the New Orleans
All-Star Brass Band for a three-day concert tour based on the
overwhelmingly positive reception of their breathtaking Thanksgiving
Day performance in Kuwait in November 2005. Public Affairs
scheduled the band to engage young Kuwaitis at schools and
universities as well as Kuwaiti professionals at public and private
venues. Enlisting the support of local sponsors, the Embassy was
able to invite the band for an encore visit thanks to the feeling of
kinship the people of Kuwait have for the hurricane-stricken U.S.
Gulf Coast, to which they pledged more than $500 million in aid
following the destruction of New Orleans wrought by Katrina.

Strength through Diversity


--------------------------





3. The New Orleans All-Star Brass Band's visit supported the
Embassy's MPP goals to strengthen close ties with allies and friends
and to enhance understanding of American society, culture, and
values by young Kuwaitis. The eight-member group composed of New
Orleans natives focused on exposing young Kuwaitis to the unique
cultural diversity and musical heritage of America. Drawing on
their varied and dramatic personal experiences and extensive musical
expertise, the marching band easily connected with young Kuwaitis,
from grade school through university levels, as well as with young
professionals and government officials.

High Impact on Islamist Debate


--------------------------




4. The jazz band effectively introduced, in a positive way, their
unique outlook on American culture, compelling Kuwaiti audiences to
look at the U.S. from a new angle. Their presence was particularly
timely and constructive as the U.S. role in the region and public
music and celebrations in Kuwait are under virulent attack by
Islamists. Besieged liberal Kuwaitis, who are on the side of art
and music education in this intense dispute, viewed the concert
series as bolstering their position. The band's multiple
performances resulted in the appearance of an encouraging op-ed
article in Al-Seyassah, a major Kuwaiti newspaper, countering
pressures by political Islamists against music and creative
expression, especially in the school system. Arabic daily columnist
and Kuwait University political science professor, Dr. Shamlan
Yousef Al-Issa, wrote under the title "A Special Night": "What I
liked most about the band is not so much the beautiful jazz music
they played, but rather their success in involving the audience and
getting them to interact through clapping and rhythmic movements.
For the very first time, the AbdulAziz Hussein Theater was
completely full with an audience of Kuwaitis and expatriates, most
of whom were young men and women. This means that our youth long to
listen to good music and would dance to it if given the chance."
Expanding ACCESS and Public Outreach


--------------------------





5. Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters
co-hosted the band's initial performance on April 17. The theater
filled with a capacity audience of more than 250 students from
remote areas of Kuwait, including AMIDEAST's ACCESS English-language
students and music students and teachers from the Kuwait Public
Authority for Applied Education and Training. The brass band's
90-minute cultural presentation, introduced by the DCM, was the
first exposure to jazz for most of the students. Al-Rai satellite
TV interviewed the musicians and guests at the concert and broadcast
portions of the show on the evening news, thereby extending the
program's reach to the public.

Marching with the Masses


--------------------------





6. On the morning of April 18, the jazz ensemble led a workshop for
95 energetic 12- and 13-year-old students at the Universal American
School that recently suffered attacks in the press for holding

KUWAIT 00001425 002 OF 002


musical events. Students enthusiastically queried the musicians
about the history of jazz music and the city of New Orleans and
expressed their gratitude for the band's awe-inspiring lessons about
the United States. That evening, the band delivered an exuberant
performance before approximately 4,000 spellbound Kuwaiti guests,
adding an authentic touch to the Embassy's colorful, Mardi
Gras-themed National Day celebration.

A Rare Phenomenon


--------------------------





7. The musicians concluded their tour with a stirring performance
at the two-year-old American University of Kuwait. Introduced by
former U.S. Fulbright scholar Lisa Erkovich, they played before a
spirited audience of between 250-300 college students and their
instructors. Clapping, singing along, and clamoring afterwards for
autographs, the students clearly were riveted by the unprecedented
outdoor musical show. They displayed great interest in the music of
New Orleans and the lives of the members of the band, all survivors
of Hurricane Katrina. One Kuwaiti student who sang on stage with
the troupe exclaimed, "This is the best event we have ever had on
campus!"

"Won't You Come Back?"


--------------------------





8. The final concert took place at the highly popular Marina Mall,
a waterfront venue frequented by large numbers of Kuwaiti youth.
Band members readily connected with the audience in a directly
inspiring manner, telling their personal stories, involving the
audience in the music, and thanking Kuwaitis for their Hurricane
Katrina donations to the people of New Orleans. An estimated 1,000
teenagers and adults listened with rapt attention to their
passionate rendition of "Down by the Riverside" and other jazz
favorites on the shore of the Arabian Gulf. "We hope they will come
back again," said a hijab-clad Kuwaiti woman standing with her
children. "We don't see things like this often and we really
appreciate them coming to Kuwait."

Glowing Public Praise


--------------------------





9. Despite attacks in general by Islamists on public music events,
the string of stimulating concerts attracted plentiful and upbeat
media coverage:

4/18/06
--Al-Rai Satellite TV, midnight news bulletin, 10 minutes

4/19/06
--Al-Anbaa, p. 15, 1/4 page, 2 photos
--Al-Qabas, p.33, 1/8 page, 1 photo
--Al-Seyassah, p. 35, Op-Ed by Dr. Shamlan Al-Issa
--Al-Watan, p. 37, 1/8 page, 1 photo
--Arab Times, p. 25, 1/8 page, 1 photo
--Kuwait Times, p. 3, 1/4 page, 3 photos
-- Kuwait TV covered the Marina Mall concert

4/21/06,
--Al-Rai Al-Aam, p.19, 1/4 page, 2 photos
--Al-Seyassah, p. 19, 1/8 page, 1 photo

Hearty Local Support (Cost-sharing)


--------------------------





10. Non-USG Funding: The Embassy organized the concert series in
partnership with Kuwait's National Council for Culture, Arts, and
Letters and with the sponsorship of several Kuwaiti and American
businesses, including Kuwait Airways, Delta Airlines, MTC, Al-Ghanim
Industries, The Sultan Center, Marriott Courtyard Hotel, and Hertz.



11. USG Support: Public Affairs Kuwait conceived of and arranged
all aspects of this cultural program. Post funds contributed to the
purchase of giveaways distributed at every event. Embassy thanks R
for bringing the group to Kuwait in 2005.

Comment


--------------------------





12. Embassy recommends in the strongest terms the New Orleans
All-Star Brass Band for consideration by any Public Affairs Section
seeking a group of jazz performers. The eight-member brass ensemble
is talented, articulate, lively, and charming with audiences.
Moreover, they are easy to work with in spite of their geographic
dispersal following Hurricane Katrina, and adapted willingly to the
Mission's vision and programming objectives. End Comment.

LEBARON