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Culture news, 06.02.2004 13:40

Jazz legend honored at American Corner festival

Louis Armstrong Next week, the American Corner in St. Petersburg will unveil an exhibit dedicated to Louis Armstrong in honor of the organization's two year anniversary. With "Louis Armstrong: King of Jazz," the American Corner hopes to acquaint the public with the most important figure in jazz history in an event featuring photographs, performance footage, a lecture about Armstrong by local jazz historian Vladimir Feiertag and live music provided by a local Russian-American band, Jazzebel.

In 2002, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg joined forces to create the American Corner in St. Petersburg within the Department of Foreign Languages at the Mayakovsky Public Library. Functioning mainly as an English-language library featuring books and audiovisual materials providing information about American history, culture, geography, literature, language, and study abroad programs, the American Corner also hosts several free events, including holiday parties and lectures, throughout the year. Currently there are over 25 American Corners scattered throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union, which are visited by Russians and Americans alike.

The American Corner also works closely with its partners the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) and the Alumni Center, which brings together Russian alumni from various study abroad programs in the United States. Once a week, the American Corner organizes lectures by native speakers at the library which are open to the public.

Previous lecturers included a panel of American judges who discussed the American legal system and the Vice President of International Business Development of Scholastic Books, Dr. Carol Kanuth-Soccaine.

"Louis Armstrong: King of Jazz" is the second exhibit held at the American Corner, following the success of "The American West" exhibit held last year. In tandem with the exhibit, the American Corner will host a class on jazz for Russian teachers of English, to be held every Wednesday in March and April. All participants will receive certification upon completion.

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