MarchFourth Marching Band to Tour China's Henan Province on A US State Department Diplomatic Cultural Exchange

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MarchFourth Marching Band, a music and performance ensemble from Portland, Oregon, has been selected for a cultural exchange tour of China's Henan Province, sponsored by the United States Embassy in Beijing, in partnership with several Chinese organizations. They will be performing 10 shows at Chinese universities and theaters from May 23-June 2, 2013.

MarchFourth Marching Band is embarking on a US State Department cultural exchange tour in China, sponsored jointly by the United States Embassy in Beijing, Sias International University, Sias Foundation, and the Government of Henan China Cultural Affairs. MarchFourth’s eighteen performers (and three crew, including a cameraman/documentarian) will tour the Henan Province of China, putting on shows at universities, arts centers and public squares from May 21-June 3, 2013.

MarchFourth Marching Band is an American music and performance ensemble. Their original music is anchored by funky electric bass, echoing the deepest grooves of American funk, rock, and jazz, framed in cinematic fashion by high-stepping stilt-aerobatics and dazzling dancers, all in fanciful costumes. This genre-busting, circus dance party is not to be missed! What began as a Fat Tuesday band in Portland, Oregon on March 4, 2003, has since become one of the nation’s best live touring acts and an experience that's not soon forgotten.

Stiltwalker Aaron Lyon explains why MarchFourth Marching Band is a great choice for this kind of cultural exchange. "We are not a lyrically driven stage act. From the moment we start making music and moving, people begin to feel something," he says. "It's part of our accessibility. MarchFourth speaks two universal languages--music and dance--and we're saying 'Hey everybody! Let's have a party. Right here. Right now. Just because we can.' "

Cymbal player and tour manager Dan Stauffer adds, "Every time we go abroad we're bringing something about America that no one sees in the rest of the world. It makes every experience precious in a way that traveling around the States could never be exactly."

Since the Cold War era, trips like this have long been part of American cultural diplomacy efforts to showcase the American arts and, by extension, our way of life. Some of the first musicians to tour the world on the US State Department dime were jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Though they declined somewhat in the second half of the 20th century, these kinds of programs, which feature all genres of music as well as dance, theater, and fine art, were revived or ­reinvigorated after 9/11 in an attempt to downplay anti-US sentiments around the world.

Download a band photo:

Watch filmmaker Kevin Balmer's trailer for "Was Ist Das?", the short documentary made of MarchFourth's 2009 trip to Germany:

About MarchFourth Marching Band:

MarchFourth Marching Band consists of 18 performers and features an all-star cast of percussion, saxes, trumpets, trombones, as well as bass and electric guitar and stiltwalkers, acrobats, hula hoops and dancing girls. Their most recent album ‘Magnificent Beast,’ was produced by Steve Berlin (of Los Lobos and was self-released October 2011. Their song "Gospel" will be featured in this year's highly anticipated Disney/Pixar movie, "Monsters University". The song will also be heard in the closing credits and the movie trailer.

“From the first note to the last, the sound was pumping and the fun never stopped.” - USA Today // @M4MB

Nayana Jennings
Publicity Manager
MarchFourth Marching Band
Phone: 503-481-2551

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MarchFourth Marching Band
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