This week a group of musicians from around the world has been roaming the halls and jamming in the theatres of the Atlas. They have been brought together through a project initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation. Bang on a can is an organization dedicated to new music. It has grown from a gallery in SoHo to an international force.
I’ve met a rappers from Senegal, a percussionist/puppeteer from Indonesia and a Danish singer-songwriter.
The OneBeat Project has gathered 32 musicians from 21 countries. These folks are leaders in the fields of hip hop, jazz, funk and experimental music. Their musical American journey began in Florida and will end in (where else?) Brooklyn on Saturday.
The group has done events at Busboys and Poets and at the Sitar Center during their DC stay. The Washington leg of their tour ends this evening with a public performance tonight at the Atlas. The performance is free (except for the $2 booking fee.) If you want to get in on the action yourself there is even a public workshop at 5pm.
While it sounds a little bit like the old Coke commercial about teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony, this project is far cooler.