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Arch Stanton Quartet Heads For "Jazz Diplomacy" Tour of Egypt
(Published: February 19, 2013)

Upstate New York jazz combo the Arch Stanton Quartet will be touring Egypt in late March, performing at the 5th Cairo International Jazz Festival, the American University in Cairo (AUC), and in Alexandria as part of a jazz diplomacy program cosponsored by AMIDEAST/Egypt, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at AUC.

The band will also be conducting a master class and other educational workshops at AUC and at AMIDEAST's education centers during its weeklong Egypt tour from March 20 to 26, 2013.

"The Arch Stanton Quartet is thrilled for this opportunity to share an international stage with so many great acts in Egypt, and we are honored to continue in America's long tradition of jazz diplomacy, both at the Cairo Jazz Festival and in other performances throughout Egypt," said Arch Stanton Quartet guitarist Roger Noyes. "We thank AMIDEAST, the U.S. Embassy and CASAR for their sponsorship and development of this important cross-cultural opportunity."

AMIDEAST/Egypt is a non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. The organization provides English language and professional skills training, educational advising, and testing services to hundreds of thousands of students and professionals in the Middle East and North Africa.

"Building bridges and enhancing cross-cultural understanding is at the core of the AMIDEAST mission," said AMIDEAST/Egypt Country Director James Ketterer. "The Arch Stanton Quartet's visit to Egypt will not only entertain audiences but also inspire our students to think broadly and creatively about the role of culture in their lives -- and about the power of music to transcend borders."

Ambassador Magda Shahin, Director of CASAR, noted that "the nature of jazz is international although its roots are American, and this combination is the very essence of our vision for American Studies at AUC."

The CASAR mission is to further mutual understanding between the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the United States by producing academic research on MENA-U.S. cultural and political interactions, and by promoting superior education on MENA-U.S. relations for AUC students. CASAR facilitates dialogue on issues involving Egypt, the MENA region, the United States, and the world. The Center also runs an active public outreach program that includes student trips, media programs, public conferences, and colloquia with Egyptian universities.

The Arch Stanton Quartet's visit is inspired in part by the long and storied tradition of American "international jazz diplomacy," akin to Louis Armstrong's tour of Egypt in 1961; Dave Brubeck's tour of Poland and the Middle East during the Cold War Era in 1958; and Dizzy Gillespie's tour of Southern Europe, the Middle East and South Asia in 1956. Much like Armstrong, Gillespie and Brubeck, the Arch Stanton Quartet -- with institutional support from AMIDEAST, the U.S. Embassy and AUC -- similarly hopes to use jazz performance and instruction as a means of crossing cultural barriers and enhancing musical education about this quintessential American art form.

The Cairo International Jazz Festival, started in 2009, is the first and only major jazz festival of its kind in Cairo, hosting bands from Egypt and the U.S. as well as Holland, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Morocco, Brazil and Japan.

"The Arch Stanton Quartet is completing the lineup of CJF 2013 with its original sound," said Amro Salah, Director of the Cairo Jazz Festival.

Based in upstate New York, the Arch Stanton Quartet performs bop and post-bop club-jazz, with angular funk and Latin grooves, expansive improvisation and inventive original tunes steeped in the traditions of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Charles Mingus and John Scofield.

The Quartet has played club dates and private events throughout the Capital Region, Saratoga, Hudson Valley, and Central New York. The band's debut album "Along For the Ride" was recently released on WEPA Records. It features original compositions by Trumpeter Terry Gordon and Guitarist Roger Noyes as well as inspired performances by Bassist Chris Macchia and Drummer Steven Partyka.

Nick Mondello recently reviewed the album on CDBaby. He writes: "Recorded live, this pianoless group offers up a magnificent seven originals and one classic cover. A highly eclectic CD, the material ranges from straight-ahead harder bop ('Along for the Ride') to more cerebral Monk-flavored rock-tinged fare ('Modest Sleuthing'). 'Della Royale' struts a Cajun-flavor and 'Flying Gurnard' exhibits freer expressive tonalities on which the group shines brilliantly. 'Compared to What' (not the Les McCann-Eddie Harris classic) pounds a heavy beat and 'Estate' ('Summer') is a beautiful rendition that sends it all home."

More information about the band and the album is at www.archstantonjazz.com.

More Information: http://www.archstantonjazz.com/cairo.htm

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