music diplomacy

As escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula occupy center stage, a team of South Korean pop singers, a Grammy award-winning songwriting duo, and internationally known recording artists want to steal the limelight away from missile threats.

Inland Empire musician and UC Riverside alumnus Eddie Valencia recently got the chance to utilize his talent as a percussionist — in Russia. He took part in OneBeat, a global music-based diplomacy program. Valencia first participated in the domestic version of the program in 2015, but returned this year to step out of his musical comfort zone and explore the sounds and styles of Russia.

Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Lumineers, The Killers, and The Chainsmokers are set to headline the Sept. 23 Global Citizen Festival, the annual concert in Central Park that blends music and social activism. [...] As in the past, 60,000 tickets are expected to be given out for the festival, essentially as rewards to participants in Global Citizen’s initiatives to end extreme poverty worldwide and tackle other social ills.

A 32-member cultural troupe led by Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director General Jamal Shah returned from a tour of China on Monday. The troupe comprised folk singers, dancers and musicians specializing in traditional music and instrumentalists from all parts of the country. The troupe performed at four different places in the Xinjiang region of China.

The first ever opera festival in the Arab world debuted yesterday, and it took place in Amman. [...] In a statement to The Jordan Times, Barhoum said, “Throughout my career, I have been blessed to work with people from around the globe. Through my music and art, I have realized the importance of cross-cultural connections, and I have seen first-hand how music provides an important bridge that unites cultures from all over the world. With music, we speak one language; a language we can all understand without interpreters.”

Last week, Korean pop group Twice made its “official” debut in Japan, featuring the release of a Japanese-language best-of compilation and a showcase at Tokyo Gymnasium on July 2. [...] Japanese media has primarily focused on the fact three of Twice’s members are Japanese. [...] The Japanese members are shown as soft power superhumans, helping Japan’s image in Korea.

World-renowned Turkish pianist İdil Biret is set to perform the works of famous Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff at his house-turned-museum in Tambov, Russia on July 15. Anadolu University State Conservatory academic Amine Aygistova confirmed the news to Anadolu Agency. [...] Thanks to the concert, the relationship between the two countries will improve further, hoped Aygistova.

The Japanese “Va-Liqa” music band has performed in Baku. Addressing the event, Japanese Ambassador to Baku Teruyuki Katori and Head of Khatai Executive Authority Razim Mammadov highlighted the importance of the concert. [...] The speakers noted that both countries are interested in expanding relations, adding such cultural events contribute to further fostering cultural ties.

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