music diplomacy

For a few hours on Sunday, Ariana Grande, a 23-year-old pop star from Boca Raton, Florida, was the leader of the free world. The position has been open for months. Contestants ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to, improbably, Chinese President Xi Jinping have been auditioning for the job. [...] While President Trump gutter-tweeted argle-bargle and played another round of golf, Grande delivered what will likely stand as the official American response to the bombing in Manchester and to another terrorist attack, the night before the concert, in London.

Are there any limits to the channels and tools that a state can use to perpetuate narratives on national identity? Traditional approaches to what has been defined as nation-building have tended to rely on such things as studies of the use of the national language, school education, and political narratives. [...]  Indeed, cinema, large-scale events with hundreds of thousands of attendees, cultural initiatives, and even food narratives can be used to construct identity in a path that goes from traditional nation-building to what has recently been defined as nation-branding.

Kabul Dreams

The cultural and music diplomacy of the band Kabul Dreams.

The 2017 three-week tour features concerts and cultural exchange activities in Shanghai, Beijing, Ulaanbaatar, Seoul, and Hong Kong. 2017 is also the first year of new five-year partnerships with China's National Centre for the Performing Arts, the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, and the Shanghai Media Group Performing Arts Division. [...] This is the first time a Western orchestra has engaged in people-to-people exchange and outreach activities in Mongolia,made possible by the Department of State and the US Embassy in Ulaanbaatar.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival began planning to feature Cuba in its Cultural Exchange Pavilion two years ago, well before then-President Barack Obama lifted the embargo against the island nation in October 2016. Since travel to and from Cuba has opened, there's a full slate of music, craft and cultural displays in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion tent, located between the Congo Square Marketplace and the major food areas.

Despite the current political climate where efforts to build walls, ban travel and separate different ethnic groups are increasing, an argument can be made that over time, the forces of globalization are simply too strong and, ultimately, will prevail. [...] This begs the question: What must our educational institutions do to effectively educate and prepare our children to succeed in this changing global reality?

Israeli musician Dudu Tassa, who opened Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a Friday afternoon performance backed by his band the Kuwaitis and will do the same this weekend, has deep roots. As an Israeli-Iraqi-Yemeni Jew born in Tel Aviv who plays the music of his once-celebrated ancestors.[...] For the last half decade, Tassa has been remaking Saleh and Daud Kuwaity’s songs for new generations as a way to reclaim their glorious musical past.

Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou

The global musical phenomenon of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou.

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