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Gospel music artist Melvin Williams selected as U.S. Music Ambassador

In February 2011 gospel legend Melvin Williams was appointed US Music Ambassador for the US Department of State’s initiative, The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad administered by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In the 1950s, the U.S. government sent Jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dave Bruebeck across the globe to share America’s culture.

Melvin Williams is singing lead for his newly formed band, The Melvin Williams Group that is comprised of bassist/BGV, Castro Coleman, vocalist, Andre Tate and percussionist/BGV, Bridget Fleury.

During this 5 week tour, Williams will visit a selection of Europe and Eurasia countries like Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Georgia. His mission is to introduce and perform traditional gospel music through concerts and educational workshops to regions around the world that wouldn’t otherwise get much exposure to Gospel music.

“The mission of The Rhythm Road is to share America’s unique contribution to the world of music and to promote cross-cultural understanding and exchange among nations worldwide.

Building on the rich legacy of the legendary Jazz Ambassadors, the program has expanded in recent years to include music that is quintessentially American.”-Adrian Ellis, executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center

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The Melvin Williams Group is one of 10 ensembles selected as U.S. Music Ambassadors to represent The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad. Since 2006, the program has sent more than 100 musicians on tours to 97 different countries, most of them outside the reach of American music.

Melvin Williams has been in the industry for 50 years. His dedication to gospel music has garnered him 6-GRAMMY® award nominations and a host of Stellar Awards collectively as a solo artist and with The Williams Brothers.



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