Honoring AAPI Stories and Intersectionality with DJ Kuttin Kandi

DJ Kuttin Kandi is a retired hip hop DJ and activist, organizer, writer and artist who also co-founded Asian Solidarity Collective, a San Diego organization working to create Asian solidarity with other marginalized and oppressed communities. She is an alumni of Meridian’s Next Level program. For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage month, we’re excited to bring you her perspective on intersectionality and storytelling.   What does AAPI month mean to you? Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage months means many things to me. First, it really means that not only must I be proud of my heritage but...

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Jazz: A Great American Export

Jazz is one of those rare phenomena that resonate across cultures. Meridian couldn’t help but notice the recent American Security Project article by Chad Tragakis about the United States government’s mass export of this American music genre during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Jazz diplomacy, as it came to be known, introduced and shared a unique piece of American culture to the world by sending jazz legends, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter, and Sarah Vaughan, to countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Since then, jazz music...

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Egyptian Group Fabrica begins tour of US

For many members of the Egyptian musical group Fabrica, their current visit to the United States is not their first time coming to the country. However, for many members of the audience at Busboys and Poets on January 20, 2014, it was their first time seeing an all-Egyptian group of singers performing several songs from the musical Les Miserables–especially a performance that was done entirely in colloquial Arabic. Continue