Thursday, July 12, 2018

Protesting Trump's Immigration Policy Through Song


NPR reports on protest music responding the Trump administration's immigration policies.  Nothing struck a public nerve in the United States like the news that children were being forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration earlier this year.

Social media and opinion polls condemned the policy.  Hundreds of protests took place around the country.  And politically engaged musicians spoke out.

Ultimately, the Trump administration changed the policy.


July 12, 2018 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 29, 2018

World Premieres Make Classical Music History in Vienna, Give Voice to Migration Stories


Young talented composers and musicians from Afghanistan, Turkey, the United States, Austria, and Japan are pictured with International Organization for Migration Regional Director Argentina Szabados and Bärli Nugent, Assistant Dean and Director of Chamber Music of the Juilliard School. Photo: Lanna Walsh / International Organization for Migration

Here is an upbeat migration story.

The “Voices of Migration” concert, the first ever musical event of its kind to be held at the United Nations, took place in the Rotunda of United Nations Vienna International Center yesterday, showcasing the richness of culture and art that migration brings. Co-hosted by the International Organization for Migration, the UN Migration Agency, and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS), the historic concert featured powerful performances, including two world premieres by migrant composers from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey, performed by a diverse group of world-class musicians.

The stunning programme was curated by Bärli Nugent, a renowned concert flautist and Assistant Dean and Director of Chamber Music of the Juilliard School in New York City. The event drew a high-level audience of over 150 diplomats, UN officials, classical music aficionados, and members of academia. Highly acclaimed Vienna musicians included Sophia Hahn of the Schönbrunn Palace Orchestra, violinist Sylvia Kimiko Krutz, soprano Jerilyn Jiuan-Ru Chou, and pianist Aki Maeda.




June 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Your Playlist: Rise Against

I'm always on the hunt for new songs to play in class. Here's a 2009 song by Rise Against called Prayer of the Refugee. The chorus is pretty damning: "I don't need your help now / You will let me down, down, down!"


April 8, 2018 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Your Playlist: Miguel

Do you cover immigration detention? Then this is the music video for you: Miguel's Now.


March 19, 2018 in Music, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Your Playlist: Camila Cabello

Don't judge, you know that Camila Cabello's Havana is catchy as all get out. Your students will love it. And you can tie it into the push-pull factors of migration ("He took me back to East Atlanta" but" half my heart is in Havana").


March 14, 2018 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Your Playlist: Mennel

Mennel, a 22-year old student, recently auditioned for The Voice (France edition). She sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in both English and Arabic. Menne father is Syrian-Turkish and her mother is Moroccan-Algerian.


February 6, 2018 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Singer Songwriter Camila Cabello Gives a Shout Out to the DREAMers on the Grammys


Camila Cabello – the Cuban-American singer and songwriter - made a heartfelt appeal to Dreamers before introducing U2 on the Grammys last night.





January 29, 2018 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Your 2018 Ringtone

For non-Spanish-speaking immprofs, the song begins with: "If immigration comes to arrest you, keep calm. You have the right to remain silent... [and] ask for an attorney.”

The 20 second ditty was created by Unite Here Local 1. Their goal: to educate immigrants about their rights during an arrest. As Maya Miller reports for WTTW (Chicago), "It was made with the intent to be catchy so the lyrics would be easy to recall in stressful or nerve-racking situations."

The union hopes that immigrants and citizens alike will download the ringtone in an effort to educate as many as possible about their rights.


January 1, 2018 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Your Playlist: Charlie Parker Quintet

This is Visa, from the Charlie Parker Quintet:

Off the same album, you'll find Passport:


December 28, 2017 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Music Break: Jackson Browne - The Dreamer (Featuring Los Cenzontles)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kennedy Center Honors Gloria Estefan



On December 3, 2017, the Kennedy Center will hold its 40th annual national celebration of the arts – The Kennedy Center Honors. The 2017 recipients include singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, whose family brought her to the United States from Cub when she was a young child.

As Karen Heller for the Washington Post writes in a profile on Estefan:

"Estefan stayed in the United States and went on to sell 100 million albums and amass seven Grammys. Her band, the Miami Sound Machine, became the exporter of a propulsive Cuban-infused rhythmic pop, a 1980s hit factory, many of the songs co-written by Estefan: Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” and “Conga.” She became a titan of Latin music, a godmother to younger performers, an emissary of the Cuban American dream, beloved.



December 2, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How L.A. Mariachi Helped Make One of Blondie’s Biggest Hits


Josh Kun for LA Weekley explains "How L.A. Mariachi Helped Make One of Blondie’s Biggest Hits." He explains how the band rin ecorded their fifth alum AutoAmerican in Los Angeles:

"Among the songs produced during those early September sessions was "The Tide Is High," originally written by Jamaican legend John Holt and recorded by his rock-steady trio The Paragons in 1966. Blondie's version replicates the original's classic Caribbean reggae strut — a sound that had vibrantly left its mark on the sound of new wave and punk scenes in New York and London — but then throws in a Latin American curve ball. They nudge it closer to nearby Mexico and Cuba: The melody is played by trumpets and violins in the style of modern Mexican mariachi and the percussion section surrounds a steel drum with congas and timbales typically found on rumbas and mambos. It wasn't just the city's sunshine mythology and seismic doom that had made their way into the new album. It was the city's position as a key geographic and cultural hub within greater Latin America, the city's history as a mecca of Mexican music and as a laboratory for experiments in Afro-Cuban dance music in East Los Angeles pasta restaurants, downtown ballrooms, Sunset Strip supper clubs and Hollywood soundstages. The city had indeed rubbed off."




November 22, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Your Playlist: Led Zeppelin

I can't imagine a more rousing way to kick off or end the semester of immigration law than with Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.

The song is put to excellent use in Thor: Ragnarok. That means this will be a song that your students will actually know, even if they had no clue of its immigration tie!


November 12, 2017 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Immigrant of the Day: Singer Regina Spektor, Russia

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Music Break: Ruby Ibarra, Filipina Immigrant Rapper


Colorlines presents "Ruby Ibarra, an MC Turning Immigration Trauma Into Adventurous Rap."  The Filipina-American rapper digs deep into her experiences as a young immigrant on “Circa91,” her debut album.

Ibarra was born in the Philippines. As a child living in Tacloban, she was inspired by a television performance by Filipino rapper Francis Magalona. Her family immigrated to San Lorenzo, California and she was raised in the Bay Area. She attended the University of California, Davis.




October 26, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

You Playlist: Elisa Koreene

Here's a song for you history buffs: Mail Order Bride. It's by Elisa Korenne, a Minnesotan singer-songwriter. And it's about a real woman named of Rachel Calof. Born in Russia, Rachel came to the US as a mail order bride, landing, of all places, in North Dakota. "Hard land for a new life," as Elisa croons.


October 18, 2017 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A Reggae Revival on the Migrant Trail

IOM, The UN Migration Agency has released the documentary, The Fable of the Lion and the Coyote, directed by Costa Rican filmmaker and producer, Miguel Gómez.

The film, divided into five chapters, tells the story of Talawa, a reggae band formed by Alonso Rojas, Gerardo Quirós, Bryan Chavarría, Francisco Barboza and Andrés Solano. The documentary is inspired by the life-threatening journey of the band and their sound engineer Juan Carlos Briceño, through Central America to the United States, without American visas, and motivated by the false expectations of a tour contract.

The documentary exhibits the risks that the group’s members faced during their two-week journey, from malnutrition to the theft of their musical instruments and death threats from a migrant smuggler. Additionally, the members describe how they almost lost their lives while trying to cross the Rio Grande River that divides Mexico and the US. 

The reggae band Talawa was formed in 2006, and it released  three records in ten years. This is the second part of a documentary that follows the band and their sound engineer during a journey across Central America and the United States motivated by the false expectations of a tour contract.

Watch Chapter 3 here | Watch Chapter 2 here | Watch Chapter 1 here


October 12, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tom Petty RIP - Refugee


Last week saw the passing to rock `n roll legend Tom Petty.  Here is a song celebrating Tom's life.



October 8, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Talawa's Story - Reggae Revival on the Migrant Trail

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Your Playlist: Cheech & Chong (and Springsteen)

Cheech and Chong's Born in East LA is the citizenship song you need this semester. You get the beauty of Bruce Springsteen's original song (Born in the USA) without the Vietnam War commentary. You students will love lyrics like these:

Oh yeah, you were born in East L.A
Let's see your green card
Huh? green card?
I'm from East L.A


September 24, 2017 in Music | Permalink | Comments (0)