The Global Music Diplomacy Initiative builds on the bipartisan PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year. It will augment current U.S. efforts that consist of various public diplomacy exchange programs using music as a diplomatic tool, including American Music Abroad, Arts Envoy, Center Stage, Next Level and OneBeat.
Several of the initiatives announced on Wednesday were collaborations with The Recording Academy. "From advocating for the Peace Through Music Diplomacy Act in 2022, to partnering with the U.S. State Department on the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative, the Academy firmly believes that music's transformative power can be a global force for good," Mason said in a statement. "We're honored to begin our work with the State Department to promote peace and cross-cultural understanding through music while continuing our mission to lift up music people around the globe."
The event featured live performances by a variety of famous musicians, including Dave Grohl, Aimee Mann, Toni Blackman, Rakim, Herbie Hancock, DJ 2-Tone, and … US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, known to some in his guitar-shredding alter-ego as ABlinken (get it?):
Truly, what a time to be alive.
Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Is Out Here Playing "Hoochie Coochie Man" At Governmental Functions [Tom Breihan / Stereogum]