OneBeat 2016: 25 Musicians From Around the World Present Pioneering New Music Tour Focused on Theme of Migration

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), together with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, announces OneBeat 2016, the world’s foremost music diplomacy program. OneBeat 2016 will convene 25 ear-bending musical changemakers from 17 different countries and territories to perform original works and lead participatory workshops with diverse American communities along the route of the Great Migration. A digital sound artist from Kaohsiung, Mr. Wu Siou-ming, is among this year’s OneBeat fellows. This is the second time that a Taiwan musician was selected to participate in Onebeat. OneBeat’s fifth nationwide tour will begin in Florida on September 10, travel to California, Louisiana, Tennessee, and end in Chicago, Illinois on October 11.

Initiated by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, OneBeat focuses on providing a

meeting place where musicians from around the world can collectively imagine new sonic universes and social realities. This year’s theme, Musical Migrations, encourages fellows to explore how people’s movement across the globe has shaped music, and conversely, how music can encourage dialogue and resilience amidst displacement and upheaval. In a time of global refugee crises and immigration debates, OneBeat brings together artists from around the world to collaborate on new music, celebrate their differences, and share the personal and collective journeys of each musical culture.

OneBeat begins at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL for a two-week intensive residency, followed by a two-week, four state tour that will trace the Great Migration and honor the global impact of African-American music by connecting with musical communities in the birthplace of jazz (New Orleans), the home of Bessie Smith (Chattanooga), and the sweet home for blues, electronic music, and hiphop (Chicago).

In each of these sites, OneBeat fellows will present audiences with a dynamic series of public performances, “street studios” (mobile recording studios) and educational events in collaboration with local musicians, educators, and community organizations. These connections and collaborations during the program will be the launching pad for fellows’ own music-driven initiatives, as they develop project ideas for their communities that leverage the power of music for social good.

OneBeat is a musical journey like no other. It is a chance for adventurous musicians from an incredible diversity of traditions to seek common ground, create new musical combinations, push the boundaries of music technology, and find ways to involve all members of society in the process of musical creativity. OneBeat endeavors to be the nexus of a new way of thinking about how music can help us collectively build healthy communities, prosperous societies, and a more peaceful world.

Information about OneBeat 2016 fellows and the tour schedule: