Remembering The Real Ambassadors: Brubeck and Armstrong Speak Out on Civil Rights at Monterey

Coffee House Gallery Exhibit
All Weekend, September 21-23

This exhibit will examine the legendary performance of The Real Ambassadors at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival. Dave and Iola Brubeck wrote this musical as a social commentary on racial issues in America with Louis Armstrong as the lead character. The exhibit will feature reproductions of photographs, handwritten musical scores, lyric sheets, critics’ reviews, and other archival items from the University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Collection. There will also be a video display of Dave and Iola Brubeck discussing the 1962 concert, as well as listening stations playing The Real Ambassadors.

(L-R): Iola Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Trummy Young at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival performing The Real Ambassadors. Photo courtesy of the Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library.

Remembering The Real Ambassadors: Brubeck Institute Oral History Project

As part of the efforts by the Brubeck Institute to document the history of Dave and Iola Brubeck’s jazz musical, The Real Ambassadors, a team of student historians will be at the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival to interview and record the recollections of Festival patrons that witnessed the historic September 23, 1962 performance of the musical at Monterey.

A location and time will be designated each day at the Festival when patrons will be able to stop and share their memories of the September 23, 1962 performance of The Real Ambassadors which starred Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, Lambert Hendricks & Bavan, and Trummy Young as well as both Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong’s bands.

These oral history recordings will then be added to the Brubeck Collection and made available to scholars and students wishing to study this important jazz work that addressed issues of social justice.

Please visit the Brubeck Collection's Oral History page at University of the Pacific.

There will also be a panel discussion about The Real Ambassadors on Saturday, September 22 at 4:00 p.m. in Dizzy's Den.

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