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Jazz Ambassadors: A Sister City Exchange

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The goal of this film is to convey the mutual respect, understanding, and joy experienced on both sides of a cultural exchange run by the Burlington Yaroslavl Sister Cities Program. The film hopes to encourage greater acceptance of foreign cultures and reveal the many similarities between the people of Burlington and Yaroslavl, Russia.

In March, Ken French accompanied the Vermont band Eight 02 to Russia. He returned with many hours of footage including travel, meetings, publicity events, sightseeing, rehearsals, and five complete performances. He filmed interviews with all band members and staff of the Yaroslavl Jazz Center, plus interviews with Sergei Ushakov, the sound engineer at Nectar’s Lounge in Burlington and a Yaroslavl native.

In June The Overdrive Blues Band from Yaroslavl completed the exchange by performing at the Discover Jazz Festival in Burlington. Ken documented their visit, including their arrival, meetings and events, rehearsals and performances. He interviewed the English-speaking band members and Burlington Yaroslavl Sister Cities Program staff, and did follow-up interviews with Eight 02 members.

Produced with facilities provided by Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM).

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Monday, July 4, 2016

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