Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
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