Us & Them: ‘Us’ Music

Stephan Said and Kurdish musicians
Stephan Said played fiddle with Kurdish musicians at a refugee camp in Greece
Courtesy of Stephan Said

Stephan Said takes his fiddle and guitar to refugee camps and war zones. He’s on a quest to make music that speaks across boundaries.

He’s been to battle-torn cities in Iraq, refugee camps in the Mediterranean and to ravaged Houston after Hurricane Harvey. When he gets to these places, he sits down with local folks to play music and help the healing begin.

Stephan lives in New York, but he traces some of his musical roots to his boyhood in Appalachia. The Village Voice and Billboard Magazine have compared him to Woody Guthrie because he uses his music to bridge divides between people.

Stephan hosts a video docu-series called “Borderless,” which follows him on his travels areas of conflict, from Greece, to Iraq, to Charlottesville, Virginia.

He talked with Trey Kay about his life as a musical ambassador.

Stephan Said’s “We the People” from Charlottesville in 2018