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Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken joins The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and shows off his guitar skills in an ending performance, on May 18, 2022. Photo: Credit Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
HomeMusic Diplomacy

Global Music Diplomacy Initiative

Music: it gives voice to democratic ideals, to the powerful and the powerless, across borders and beyond barriers, and to generations of citizens – from all walks of life – worldwide.   

Since world renowned composer Aaron Copland headed to South America during World War II and the more widely known Jazz Ambassadors sang scat behind the Iron Curtain from the 1950s through early 1970s, the United States called upon American musicians and artists to use music as a diplomatic tool to promote peace and democracy. Now, the United States is elevating music even further through public-private partnerships with American companies and non-profits, to use music to meet the moment, convey American leadership globally, and create connections with people worldwide.


In 2008, American Jazz group Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants participated in the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program tour to Chelyabinsk, Russia.

On September 27, 2023, the U.S. Department of State launched the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative, which builds on existing music diplomacy efforts and delivers upon on the bipartisan Promoting Peace, Education, and Cultural Exchange (PEACE) Through Music Diplomacy Act that President Biden signed into law last year. This Act called on the Department to use public-private partnerships to support music diplomacy. In addition, at the September 27 launch, the Department announced the first Peace Through Music Award. The award recognizes and honors an American music industry professional, artist, or group, that has played an invaluable role in cross-cultural exchanges and whose musical work advances peace and mutual understanding globally. 

U.S. Department of State

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