Seattle – March 10, 2015 Today, KEXP announces the launch of Immigrant Songs, a new online series highlighting immigrant musicians and great music coming out of America’s vibrant immigrant communities.
This series will feature in-studio performances, interviews with local and national artists, and written content that will appear live HERE and be highlighted on Wo’Pop and El Sonido, KEXP’s Latin and Modern Global specialty shows.
“The immigrant artist experience is very different than the native one. One factor is that often these artists would never get a chance to become artists in their home country,” said Darek Mazzone, host of Wo’ Pop. “The other is the representation of transitional culture, with immigrant artists absorbing the new while holding onto their traditions. There is also a really interesting impact their music can have on the dominant musical culture in their adopted home, creating something new like we have seen with Afrobeat and Hip Hop.”
“KEXP has always championed a wide variety of music from around the world, across the country and here in our backyard,” said DJ Chilly, host of El Sonido. “I’m excited to spotlight foreign-born American musicians and their unique experiences – to open a window to their positive role in our communities and their musical ingenuity. We’ll hear personal stories, find common ground and discover new sounds in music. Cross pollination is one of America’s great assets. The struggles and achievement of immigrants help bridge the gap between worlds. They push music into new territory and inspire people everywhere.”
KEXP has been proud to feature immigrant musicians in its regular programming for decades. Recent in-studio sessions have included: MAKU Soundsystem, Edna Vazquez, Gabriel Teodros, Las Cafeteras, Bocafloja, and Federico Aubele and Natalia Clavier.
Immigrant Songs is made possible in part through the support of the Vilcek Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to the arts and sciences.
“We were drawn to KEXP’s legacy of discovering the best new artists in all genres of music, and bringing them to a worldwide audience,” said Rick Kinsel, executive director of the Vilcek Foundation. “Through the Immigrant Songs series, we are excited to meet the next wave of foreign-born musicians. We will be watching and listening to the ways these artists reshape the boundaries of American music.”
Initial Artist Roster
KEXP is one of the most influential listener-supported music radio stations in the country. More than 200,000 listeners from around the world tune in to the station each week over the air and online. On KEXP’s YouTube channel, videos of exclusive in-studio performances garner more than 1.7 million views per week. KEXP produces over 500 live performances each year. For more information, please visit www.kexp.org.
About Wo’ Pop
Wo’Pop is one of KEXP’s evening specialty shows, airing each Tuesday night from 6pm to 9pm. It is a three hour look into “Modern Global Music” that encompasses all the current musical genres while being deeply engaged in the sounds and ideas of each city or region around the world. The show features Brazilian D&B, French and Cuban Hip Hop, South African Kwaito, Bhangra, and Bollywood from Bombay and London, Malabax from Senegal, Ragga Dub from Brixton and Tokyo, and anything else that producers create from the 6 corners of the world.
About El Sonido
El Sonido is another KEXP evening specialty show, airing Monday nights from 6pm to 9pm. It is a three hour trip around the diverse world of Latin music from South, Central and North America, as well as Spain and the rest of the globe. The focus is on new music and the growing Latin alternative scene, but traditional styles are also spotlighted. There’s tons of fresh contemporary flavors to enjoy from hip-hop, nu-cumbia, indie-rock, reggaeton and dance punk to indie-folk, tropical bass, reggae, funk and more. Plus there’s an endless number of traditional styles — bachata, tango, salsa, flamenco, norteño and dozens of others.
About The Vilcek Foundation
The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of foreign-born scholars and artists living in the United States, was inspired by the couple’s careers in biomedical science and art history, respectively, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The foundation awards annual prizes to immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and sponsors cultural programs such as the Hawaii International Film Festival. To learn more, visit Vilcek.org.