At the Sun Music Hall, the best seat in the house is the couch. I shared one with a new mom and her babe while waiting to hear OneBeat: 32 musicians from 21 countries making music in a cultural exchange that’s sponsored by the U.S. State Department as a diplomatic person-to-person initiative.
But I had to leave the comfort of cushions to get up closer when the show began. The ensemble pictured above came together after picking each other’s names out of a hat. They, like the other musicians, had two weeks of collaboration before going on the road. The singer is from Cambodia, the drummer from Egypt, the guitar player from Pakistan, (another musician from Denmark is not shown). Listen to a clip of their performance HERE.
Chance McCoy, pictured to the right of a singer/songwriter from Moscow, is a past Floyd resident, a member of Old Crow Medicine Show, and a OneBeat musician who was instrumental in bringing the international tour to Floyd. OneBeat had previously been to South Carolina and Asheville and were scheduled to play at Jefferson Center in Roanoke before heading on to D.C., Pittsburgh and New York City. In addition to presenting free concerts of collaborative new music, the group works with community organizations and in schools, presenting educational workshops to promote positive global exchange. Listen to Chance talk about the project before playing an old time tune on his fiddle HERE.
The guitarist pictured above is from Nigeria and the flutist is from the U.S. They performed with an ensemble that also included musicians from Venezuela, Palestine, Hungary and Egypt. Have a listen HERE.
The memory card on my camera ran out for DJ hip hop finale. The hall was packed with families and friends new and old. Some felt inspired to get up and dance.
Note: Read more about the OneBeat project HERE.