Question: Is this the first cultural group the United States has been able to schedule for Burma?
Answer: Next month, the bluegrass group “Earth String Band” will travel to Asia for a five-country tour that includes stops in Laos, Thailand, Timor Leste, and South Korea. Pending the Burmese government’s approval of visas, the band will also stop in Burma.
This is the third time the State Department has sent Rhythm Road musicians to Burma. The musical group “The Student Loan” visited Burma in 2009, and the musical group “Maya Azucena Band” visited in 2008.
Yesterday, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the 2011 fall tour schedule for The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program uses music and culture as diplomatic tools to bring people together and foster mutual understanding. To date, 155 musicians from 40 ensembles have toured with The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program visiting more than 100 countries on five continents.
While on tour, these Rhythm Road musicians conduct public concerts, master classes, workshops, jam sessions, and collaborations with local musicians and communities.