After weeks of traveling, rehearsing and performing across the country, a group of international artists are ready for their New York City grand finale.
Members of this year’s OneBeat music residency program, which includes 25 members from 18 countries, will conclude its monthlong U.S. tour with events in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn this week.Kyla-Rose Smith, OneBeat’s program manager, said the artists, who are between 19 and 35 years old, have been looking forward to their NYC performances — a setting that reflects this year’s theme of diverse cultural experiences.
"One of the criteria of the program is not about artists with great talent but artists with social messages," she said.
The members will divide into three ensembles — one for each borough — and customize performances to suit each location. On Wednesday, artists will be at Eddie’s Place African Market in Highbridge for a performance focused on the struggles of immigration. The next day, OneBeat members will be at the Bronx Museum with "original musical works inspired by stories from the Bronx-based immigrant community."
On Oct. 12, artists will perform at the Queens Museum before concluding the tour the following day at the Murmrr Theatre, where they will perform traditional and popular music of Mongolia, Southern Africa and Brazil.
OneBeat began 2012 as a collaboration between the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the musical nonprofit group Bang on a Can. Smith said alumni have returned home to create similar art programs.
"We are really bringing people together to interact without borders and find a common platform where they can express themselves," Smith said.