The U.S. Department of State has selected Anne Erm of Estonia as April’s International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month. Throughout April, Erm’s leadership in the arts will be recognized on the International Exchange Alumni website, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million U.S. Government-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. Each month, the Bureau’s Alumni Affairs Division, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers this award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.
In Estonia, Anne Erm is fondly known as the Grand Lady of Jazz and the Mother of Estonian Jazz. Anne earned these effusive accolades as she transformed the music industry in her country through an international jazz festival called Jazzkaar. After participating in a 1994 International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Arts Management, she returned to Estonia with a wealth of ideas and contacts in the American jazz sphere. Upon her return, with the help of 100 volunteers, she turned Jazzkaar into a two-week celebratory festival for thousands of jazz enthusiasts. All Jazzkaar festivals promote young talent and honor jazz veterans. Local and foreign musicians are invited to the festivals, which also raise awareness about American culture. Estonian President Ilves and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently awarded Anne for her continued efforts to promote jazz in Estonia.
As a composer and journalist, Anne has worked as a music programs producer at National Radio Broadcasting since the 1970s, and has contributed to radio music programs since the late 1960s. Many generations of Estonians recognize her voice and appreciate her efforts to educate local audiences about jazz.
To learn more about Anne Erm, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Exchange Alumni website at https://alumni.state.gov/featured-alumni/member-month.
Media Contact: ECA-Press@state.gov.