Dec
18

The Voice of America

Looking to break new ground in musical performance? How about picking a theme focused on being proud of America?

American Voices, started by pianist and enterprising performing entrepreneur John Ferguson, began because John saw a need ( a hole in the market place) to present the culture of the United States in a positive light through American Music. John realized he had an opportunity that others were not capitalizing on by reaching out to isolated areas of the world and represented America, through his work, as a sort of cultural ambassador.

How did he do it?
By bringing awareness of the cultural interaction of various ethnic immigrant groups in American music to other cultures. John realized by doing so he could bring everyone together and simultaneously promote young American talents through international performances.

What a great idea, huh? Not to mention that John is finding the funding support he needs allowing American Voices to evolve.

As a result of John’s innovative idea, American Voices, is an organization of many firsts:

American Voices is the first American musical organization committed to interactive performances and education in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries.

American Voices brought the first American Hip Hop group, HaviKoro, to visit Azerbaijan and Vietnam.

The first Broadway performances ever in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Vietnam were created by American Voices.

The first international jazz festivals in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan happened also, thanks to John Ferguson.

As the founder of the only international jazz festivals in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, American Voices has for three years offered free concerts and workshops, to the public, featuring prominent headline artists including Toots Thielemans and Maynard Ferguson. As the presenter of the first Broadway performances in Uzbekistan, and the first U.S. Hip Hop performers in Vietnam, American Voices is bringing cultures together by highlighting local young talent in their performances.

Not only is it possible to create something new if you use your imagination and allow your thinking to be unconventional but maybe you can even bring hope and inspiration to local students, musicians and audiences through this kind of collaboration, like John is doing, around the world in just three years.

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  • Many thanks for this profile. As time goes by we are developing a special series of summer arts academies for youth in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan. More info on our website under Projects 2007 and 2008.

  • Sounds like John and his folks are doing some great work! Similar to what we’ve been doing on the ground in Kazakhstan since 2001. We had our first Broadway production (“A Night on (& off) Broadway”) in the spring of 2003, followed by the popular sequel, “Broadway Strikes Back” in 2005.

    If Mr. Ferguson reads this, he should contact me and we can talk about possible Kazakhstan collaboration in the future.

    N. Fleming
    Founding Director
    The Kazakhstan English Language Theater in Almaty
    http://www.kelt.biz

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