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American Music Abroad 2012-2013

Apr 3, 2012


The American Music Abroad program is designed to communicate America’s rich contributions to the global music scene as it fosters cross-cultural communication and people-to-people connections to global audiences. Today, American Voices is proud to administer the American Music Abroad program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairsfor the 2012-2013 touring season.

To project the full spectrum of the American musical landscape, any talent representing characteristically American musical genres were invited to apply for the American Music Abroad program. This included, but was not limited to Blues, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country, Folk, Latin, Native American, Gospel, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, Jazz, Punk, R&B and Zydeco. In short, any musical traditions that can claim roots in the diverse American musical canon were welcome to apply.
Working together, American Voices and the U.S. Department of State helped get the message out in a fashion any Master of Public Diplomacy student should recognize from PUBD 504: we focused on potential partners and the best ways to multiply our message. We advertised in music magazines aimed at particular genres, and tapped into networks by contacting music associations, record labels, talent management, music social networks, State and City Arts Councils, artistic foundations and institutes, and civil society organizations, and got them to help spread the word. We reached out the old-fashioned way by making phone calls and sending scores of emails, but also using e-blasts and social media outlets.

When the dust had settled, the American Music Abroad program had received nearly 300 applications, more than double the previous year. Music ensembles applied from over 40 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and represented a tremendous variety of musical styles and world-class experience.

From the first round of applications, 40 groups were selected by a diverse panel of judges to conduct live auditions in mid-February. From these live auditions, 12 ensembles were chosen to represent American music and culture throughout 2012 and 2013 to over 40 countries around the world. The selected groups include:

  • Act of Congress (Americana/Acoustic Rock, Alabama)
  • Audiopharmacy (Hip Hop/Dub, California)
  • Boston Boys (Soul/Country, Massachusetts)
  • Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer with Barbara Lamb (Folk/Roots, Maryland)
  • The Clinton Curtis Band (Rock/Blues, New York)
  • Della Mae (Bluegrass, Massachusetts)
  • Keola Beamer & Jeff Peterson, with Moanalani Beamer (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar/Hula, Hawaii)
  • Kyle Dillingham and Horseshoe Road (Heartland Acoustic, Oklahoma)
  • Mahogany Jones (Hip Hop/Soul, Michigan)
  • Matuto (Americana, New York)
  • PROJECT Trio (Jazz/Classical/Hip Hop, New York)
  • Real Vocal String Quartet (Classical/World Strings, California)
  • As part of the American Music Abroad program, the Department of State and American Voices will create a series of international musical exchange tours. International touring activities will include public concerts, master classes, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions with local musicians and media outreach. Ensembles will travel around the globe for approximately one month each between May 2012 and May 2013. During their respective tours, each ensemble will visit four to six countries.

    American Music Abroad activities focus on younger and underserved audiences in countries with little or no access to live American performances. As part of the American Music Abroad @Home portion of the program, ensembles will also conduct workshops and performances at local schools, community centers and other venues in the Washington, D.C. area.
    We invite you to follow the upcoming tours virtually on the American Music Abroad website


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