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Paul Winter Group Performs at White House

Nov. 19, 1962 - Today, for the first time in history, a jazz concert was held at the White House. The young Paul Winter Jazz Sextet went to the White House to play for Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy’s fifth musical program for young people. The group played a number of songs in the bossa nova rhythm of Brazil. The bandleader described bossa nova as a “meeting of two cultures — like jazz, bossa nova melds together basic African rhythms with European harmonies and melodies.” “I liked that,” Mrs. Kennedy said softly after moving to the improvised stage to congratulate the 23-year-old bandleader. The members of the group, accustomed to the wild cheers they received on their successful cultural-exchange tour for the State Department, may have been disappointed at the White House. The audience was composed mainly of children of diplomats from 59 countries. Apparently on their best behavior, they applauded politely but sat placidly through the concert.


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