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  • Celebrating 'The Social Power of Music' in 2019 with new 4-disc box set and book

    From parties to protests to prayer, music is a powerful catalyst for celebration, for change, and for a sense of community. Through making music together, we become bigger than ourselves. Whether singing with our families and friends or with thousands of strangers, music transforms lives, engages individuals, and connects local and global communities. The Social Power of Music chronicles the vivid, impassioned, and myriad ways in which music binds, incites, memorializes, and moves groups of people.

    The Social Power of Music box contains a richly illustrated 124-page book, with 80+ tracks on 4 CDs, featuring artists such as Clifton Chenier, Barbara Dane, Pete Seeger, Flaco Jimenez, The Freedom Singers, Quetzal, and many, many more. These songs of struggle, devotion, celebration, and migration remind us that music has the potential to change our world.

    The Smithsonian Institution has one of the largest overall music collections of any museum or archive in the world, and in the spirit of celebration represented in this collection, 2019 has been declared the Smithsonian’s Year of Music. Every calendar day of 2019, the Smithsonian will feature unique programming designed to connect museum-goers and music lovers with artifacts, artists, stories, and musical culture – including an entire Social Power of Music program at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival! To kick off the series, Smithsonian Folkways will be hosting a listening party for the box set at Songbyrd Music House and Record Café in Washington, DC on January 2nd.

    The box comes out February 22nd, but you can pre-order now here.

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