Happy Dog Takes on the World Looks at “Music as Political Diplomacy”

Tue 11/5 @ 7:30PM

You’ve probably heard it said a thousand times that “Music is the universal language.” And indeed, to some degree, it can bridge social, cultural, political and language gaps. You can point to someone like northeast Ohio-based instrumental rock guitarist Neil Zaza, who’s toured extensively abroad, especially in China, sharing his wordless music.

For the next edition of Happy Dog Takes on the World, the monthly forum at the Gordon Square club co-presented with the City Club of Cleveland, panelists will look at “Music as Political Diplomacy,” which, given the state of U.S. diplomacy today, may be the only kind our country currently practices.

They’ll look at cultural exchange programs that offer an informal diplomacy on a personal level, such as the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad which sent northeast Ohio zydeco band Mo’Mojo to countries such as Sri Lanka, Barbados, Haiti and Tajikstand. They’ll explore how they happen and the impact they have on both sides, and talk about how music has been used to for mutual understanding, for international activism efforts such as “We Are the World” and to promote peace.

 Panelists include Oberlin Conservatory associate professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology Jennifer Fraser; pianist Angelin Chang, coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Chamber Music at Cleveland State University; and Oberlin College & Conservatory Associate Dean for Academic Support; Liaison to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Chris Jenkins.

It’s free and open to all.


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