Beginning in 1955, there was one worldwide voice that was inexorably linked to Jazz. This voice was not that of a jazz musician. But this voice reached out from the early days of the Cold War, and could be heard nightly from from East Berlin to Vladivastok, from Azerbaijan to Australia…for almost 25 years…bringing the sweet music to millions of jazz listeners worldwide. And while his name was practically unknown in the US, he became a powerful symbol of an America that promoted goodwill through jazz.
Willis Conover was not a jazz musician. However, many people believe that he did more to spread the sound of jazz than any person in music history and singularly helped make Jazz an international language. For more than forty years Conover brought jazz to people around world on his Voice of America (VOA) radio music programs “Music USA”. Here is a video tribute to that program Continue reading