Call for applications: OneBeat 2017

OneBeat, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is inviting musicians to apply for its 2017 international music exchange program in the U.S.

Ama Diaka. 2016 OneBeat Fellow. Source:
Ama Diaka. 2016 OneBeat Fellow. Source:

The programme is in collaboration with the groundbreaking New York-based music organization Bang on a Can's Found Sound Nation.

Now in its fifth edition, the exchange program is known for bringing together 25 innovative and socially-engaged musicians from around the world to the US for one month of creative collaboration, performance, workshops, and discussions.

The program is open to musicians of any genre, between the ages of 19-35 from around the world to the U.S. for one month each fall to collaboratively write, produce, and perform original music, and develop strategies for arts-based social engagement. OneBeat 2017 will take place this fall and it will cover all costs for selected fellows, including travel, accommodation, and food.

OneBeat begins with an opening residency, when Fellows collaborate to create original material, record new musical ideas, and incubate their projects. OneBeat fellows then go on tour, performing for a wide array of American audiences, collaborating with local musicians, and leading workshops with youth. In a closing residency, each OneBeat musician sets out their plans for the future, developing projects in their home countries linked to a mutually-reinforcing network of music-driven social enterprises.

The application is free and available online

The programme is looking for musicians, who, in addition to being strong players:

  • Demonstrate an ability to collaborate with musicians from many genres & traditions, who can be a strong representative of their own musical tradition but also step outside of their musical world.
  • Can present a strong vision for larger project ideas that connect with local or global communities.

Below are 2017 eligible countries and territories:

Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

OneBeat is a music exchange and incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship, where innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects designed to make a positive impact on local and global communities. OneBeat employs collaborative original music as a potent new form of cultural diplomacy.

The 2016 OneBeat program had the following fellows Africa including Mbira player and vocalist Kirby Chipembere (Zimbabwe), poet and spoken word artist Ama Diaka (Ghana), bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (South Africa), percussionist and vocalist Othnell Moyo (Zimbabwe) among others.

For more information about this call, please visit the OneBeat website here.  The closing date for applications is 10 February 2017.


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