His Excellency, Vice Rector of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane,
Esteemed Director of UEM School of Communications and Arts, Dr. Eduardo Lichuge,
Esteemed UNESCO Representative in Mozambique,
Distinguished invited guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! My name is Peter Vrooman, the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique. It is an honor to be here today celebrating International Jazz Day with you all at Eduardo Mondlane University. Our partnership with UEM spans decades, and it is a pleasure to once again witness the musical talent of Mozambicans.
Jazz is a truly global art form, with roots deeply embedded in African American history and culture. Born in the historic city of New Orleans, the bedrock for myriad musical manifestations, its infectious rhythms and deep significance has long been a cornerstone of American history.
It’s easy to see why jazz is a global phenomenon, and so celebrated in Africa. The connections between jazz and the continent run deep, with many jazz musicians drawing inspiration from the continent’s diverse rhythms and melodies. I look forward to the lecture renowned jazz artist and UEM professor Jimmy Dludlu will give later this afternoon.
Since my arrival a little over a year ago, I have seen that here in Mozambique, jazz has found a home. It has become an integral part of the country’s cultural fabric, giving some Mozambican musicians a creative outlet as well as a form of income. These artists have exported the Mozambican rich culture throughout the world.
I applaud the efforts by UEM School of Communication and Arts. Education and the arts are two areas where Mozambique has made tremendous strides in recent years. I am proud that the United States has been a partner in these efforts, bringing Americans to Mozambique and sending Mozambicans to the United States.
We believe that education and the arts are essential for promoting understanding, tolerance, and creativity – values that are at the heart of jazz. Events like this one serve as a reminder of the power of music to unite people from all walks of life and cultures.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has made this event possible, including the organizers, sponsors, and performers.
I look forward to hearing the incredible display of talent later on this evening. The performances are a testament to the uniting force that music has on us all.
Estamos juntos celebrando a música Jazz.