US Embassy announces Armenia tour for hip-hop band Black Alley
US band Black Alley will tour Armenia from June 1-6, 2023 as part of the US State Department’s American Music Abroad (AMA) program. The AMA Tour program represents a diverse new generation of American music ambassadors who go beyond the concert hall and interact with musicians and citizens around the world. Bands participating in the tour are selected through a competitive audition process.
Founded in Washington, DC, Black Alley is known for pushing the musical arts to their rhythmic limits. Their genre-bending sound combines hip-hop, rock, and go-go, and is deeply rooted in African-American musical culture. Black Alley shared the stage with Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Common, Seabury Corporation’s Rob Garza, Wale and Living Color, and performed at the White House. The Washington Post wrote, “A group with roots in Washington’s go-go scene and a vitality that quickly became the lifeblood of the party.”
Band holds public concerts in Yerevan and Gyumri
The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has partnered with the NGOs Ordinary Wonder Society (OWS) and Armenian Vibes to include public concerts, collaborations with local musicians, workshops, masterclasses, jam sessions, media interviews and more. He is producing Black Alley’s Armenia tour. Black Alley’s first public concert will take place on Saturday 3rd June at 8pm at the Yerevan Wine Days Festival in Yerevan. The second public concert will take place on Monday 5th June at 7pm at The Garage in Gyumri. No ticket required.
“Creative collaboration, diversity and inclusivity are central to our cultural diplomacy efforts. The U.S. Embassy is proud to introduce the unique sound of Black Alley to Armenian audiences.” Christina Qvien, US Ambassador to Armenia. “We hope the band’s visit will strengthen musical ties between the United States and Armenia and inspire the next generation of artists.”
“I am delighted to be part of Black Alley’s Armenian tour. Lavian said. “In particular, the strong vocals of the band’s female frontwoman will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of female artists.”
Creative collaborations and masterclasses
Black Alley’s tour includes masters in songwriting by aspiring Armenian musicians and songwriters, focused on the creative process and women’s empowerment, and based on the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Includes classes and workshops. These efforts will be held in partnership with the Yerevan State Conservatory of Music, the TUMO Creative Technology Center in Yerevan and the Emili Allegak Development Center for Youth with Disabilities in Gyumri.
The band will also collaborate with Armenian musicians to create a new Armenian remix of Black Alley’s song “Smile”, featuring renowned artist, producer, leader of the Bambir rock band, and Armenian Vibes. It will be produced by Narek Barsegan, the founder of . Artists collaborating on the remix include internationally renowned cellist and hip-hop artist Artyom Manukyan and MVF band leader Mikael Voscanyan, who recently returned from a tour of the US with the State Department’s Center Stage program.
The music video for the Armenian remix of “Smile” will be released in the coming weeks.