In 2007 the LA-based, multi-ethnic hip-hop band Ozomatli set out on a World tour, with stops in Burma, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Madagascar, South Africa, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Jordan and even Nepal, where they played the first free concert by a band from the West to 14,000 folks in Kathmandu. How did this all come together? Ozomatli served as US cultural representatives under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. Ozomatli’s tour carried on a tradition of cultural diplomacy that stretches back to the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong. Are you interested in learning more about U.S. State Department programs that showcase American talent and engage with communities around the world? Learn more about international exchanges from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). ECA promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of exchange programs. A short video will be screened, Ozomatli will perform a short set, and the band and Ms. Pally will answer questions. (Portions of this description courtesy Future of Music Coalition)
JOSH KUN is a writer, music critic, and professor in the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at USC, where he directs The Popular Music Project at the Norman Lear Center.
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