The U.S. Embassy Harare in collaboration with HIFA, announced that Huntertones, a Brooklyn-based musical band, will be in Zimbabwe as part of their 2016 international music tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
The group will be performing at several venues in Mutare and Harare from Monday, February 8 to Saturday, February 13 and will also conduct workshops for music students at Africa University and with student groups in Harare. This tour is part of HIFA’s “HIFA Presents” group of projects which was announced last year. HIFA in October 2015, announced that for 2016, its activities will be spread throughout the year and will include projects where it will present various artistic events in collaboration with various partners. These events would be grouped in five categories with “HIFA Presents” being one that focuses on artistic performances.
Huntertones is a high energy band founded in Columbus, Ohio, and currently based in New York. The band’s signature sound comes from adventurous original compositions and arrangements that meld jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, R&B, and rock.
In addition to covering a wide range of genres, their heavy horn-driven compositions meld jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, gospel, R&B, and rock to produce a signature sound that resonates with all types of audiences. The band’s mission is simple: create live music on real instruments that will often make you think and always make you move.
The program will include a free performance on Friday, February 12. The cultural diplomacy program is facilitated by an American non-profit organization, American Music Abroad (AMA), through a grant from the U.S. Department of State. AMA facilitates people-to-people cultural exchange programs designed to communicate America’s rich musical contributions and diverse culture to the global music scene.
Cultural envoys are selected on the basis of artistic quality and commitment to education and cultural engagement. Huntertones is one of ten American musical groups which will conduct month-long international tours for the Department of State in 2016. Zimbabwe is the final leg of their tour, after visiting Bermuda, Ecuador, and Togo.
AMA bands represent a wide variety of American musical genres and reached more than 45 countries around the world during 2014 and 2015. This program also builds on the historic legacy of the Department of State’s Jazz Ambassadors, who first traveled the world in the 1950s to connect people through music. Jazz Ambassador alumni included Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Dave Brubeck.
“We are excited about hosting Huntertones, we believe the fusion of the Zimbabwean and American jazz experience will maintain the strong cultural ties our two countries have always shared,” says Kelly McCaleb, Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy. “Their engagement with Zimbabweans will showcase our ongoing creative ties and provide an opportunity for all the participants, including the Huntertone musicians, to explore the musical and cultural diversity both here in Zimbabwe and in the United States.”