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Bassist Bhagwan KhalsaÆs multi-ethnic and diverse style of playing is reflected in the various artists with whom he has worked: David ôFatheadö Newman, Kenny Drew, Jr., Buck Hill, Sonny Fortune, John Hicks, Ronnie Wells, Oliver Lake, Gary Thomas, Mark Schim, Arthur Blythe, Cecil Payne, Alllison Miller, and Elsworth Gibson. Currently, Khalsa works as a freelance musician with top jazz, blues, contemporary, and Latin musicians in the Washington, D.C. area.
Percussionist Alphonso Melvin Young was born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1965. He received his bachelorÆs degree in music education from Shenandoah University and attended graduate school at the University of Miami on a full-tuition scholarship. He performs with the Robert Larson Trio, Charles Brubeck Quartet, Larry Elder Trio, Yvette Spears Quartet, Nia Olabesi Quartet, Debbie Kirkland Group, Howard Burns Quartet, pianist William Knowles and the Eric Byrd Trio. His wide range of recent recordings include a PBS three-part series, ôStealing Time,ö National GeographicÆs ôThe Secret Lives of Cats,ö and commercials for the National Institute of Health.
The Kennedy Center and the Department of State (DOS) are now in the fifth year of a partnership created to showcase some of this countryÆs most talented musicians in performances that include contemporary American music. In 1997, the Kennedy Center and the DOS joined in presenting classical musicians as Artistic Ambassadors. In 1998, the Kennedy Center and the DOS jointly presented jazz musicians in the Jazz Ambassadors program, which will continue through the year 2002. The tours are designated for countries that are not often visited by American musicians. The 2001 Jazz Ambassador trios, whose overseas performances will highlight the work and improvisational musical style of Louis Armstrong, were selected from 75 trios who submitted applications and auditioned.