Cambodia: Decades After the Bombs, Enter the Beatboxers  

Posted by BlognThings in

Forty years after the U.S. became embroiled in military conflict in Southeast Asia, the U.S. State Department has dispatched an American hip-hop group to bolster its image in a region still recovering from the effects of war.

The Dana Leong Band -- a hip-hop funk group from New York -- has toured Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos this month as part of "The Rhythm Road -- American Music Abroad" program funded by the State Department and administered by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Wielding the mic at the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia this December, M.C. Baba Israel delivered an "incantation to a brand-new generation" of 300 local children invited by the Embassy to the concert. The fast-paced, English lyrics doubtlessly flew over the heads of the young audience, but the crowd quickly warmed to Israel's percussive booms and beats. In the high-flying realm of public diplomacy, it can help to be a man who makes funny noises.

"People think it's a machine at first," said Israel, describing his beatboxing skills. "They can't believe that all those sounds are coming from a human mouth."

The State Department's global music tours first began during the Cold War under President Dwight Eisenhower, who sent Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and other jazz greats abroad to counter Soviet cultural influence in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Formerly known as the "Jazz Ambassadors" program, "The Rhythm Road" tour series began featuring hip-hop musicians in 2005 in hopes of connecting with younger audiences.

Read the entire article from source --> Cambodia: Decades After the Bombs, Enter the Beatboxers


Post a Comment

eXTReMe Tracker


Free Advertising