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India Jazz And Heritage Tour Set For January 12-20

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — BET Jazz, MTV India, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the U.S. Department of State have set the 2005 India Jazz and Heritage Tour in January 12-20 in Mumbai (formally known as Bombay) and New Delhi, India. American jazz artists scheduled to appear include Ravi Coltrane, Al Jarreau, George Duke and Earl Klugh.

"This week-long event is designed to encourage the interaction between Indian and American cultures," states BET Jazz Executive Vice President and General Manager Paxton Baker. "The tour and its various components will also give us the opportunity to increase HIV-AIDS awareness, which has become a major social issue in India."

"The Institute partnered with the U.S. Department of State in 1996 to present a very successful jazz education tour in India," said Tom Carter, president of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz." "We are most pleased to be returning to India for a second educational tour in collaboration with the Department of State and BET Jazz. This exchange will further the Institute's mission to preserve America's legacy of jazz by sharing it with the world, as well as by bringing young aspiring musicians together with the jazz legends who created this music."

"Music knows no boundaries," added Alex Kuruvilla, managing director, MTV Networks IndiaMTV. 'India is proud to be associated with the historic performances by American Jazz giants and to be a part of bringing together people and countries, joining forces in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

The 2005 India Jazz and Heritage Tour commences in Mumbai with a master class featuring Ravi Coltrane and participants from the Monk Institute and Indian students. The final Mumbai event will be a charity luncheon with proceeds donated to HIV-AIDS research followed by an evening concert at the Gateway of India, a national landmark situated along the downtown shoreline overlooking the Arabian Sea.

Members of the tour will travel to New Delhi and perform master classes and give lectures in various schools. A musical birthday tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. featuring film footage of his visit there in the 1960s is also planned. The tour will include a trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal.

BET Jazz and BET Event Productions will produce 10-12 programs for future airing on The Jazz Channel from this tour, including:

* Feature on Ravi Coltrane, concerts and master classes and discussion/footage on his father — John Coltrane — and his trip to India;

* Feature on Martin Luther King's 1959 trip to India;

* HIV-AIDS awareness program; and

* An overview/Best of Tour special program.

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen