Oklahoma band Horseshoe Road – Kyle Dillingham, Peter Markes and Brent Saulsbury – has been selected for the American Voices’ American Music Abroad 2013 program.
The band, which was selected out of more than 300 other groups, will begin its tour on March 11 in Washington, D.C.
“For me playing is very sacred, and it’s a very intimate thing,” Dillingham told The Oklahoman’s Bryan Painter in a recent interview. “And what happens, I think, is that people receive it that way and I think that a lot of people feel very close to me because of my music. I can play without showing you who I am, but it’s no fun.”
The 35-day world tour will focus on younger and underserved audiences with little or no access to live American musical performances, according to a news release. The tour will include performances in Korea, Taiwan, Burma and Russia.
“It’s a touring program intended to take American artists of all different kinds overseas and exposing particularly the more rural audiences of those countries,” Dillingham said, “to American music, American culture and hopefully American goodwill and promoting good relations among our countries.”
The Enid native picked up the violin when he was 9, and by age 17 was performing on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, Tenn. He already has a lot of experience with music diplomacy: He has traveled to more than 30 nations. He’s been a featured performer for the king of Malaysia. In the United States, he has performed for the Japanese, Thai, Romanian, and Saudi Arabian ambassadors.
He is employed part-time at the University of Central Oklahoma as an ambassador-in-residence.
Horseshoe Road performs a genre of music it has dubbed “Heartland Acoustic” that incorporates a variety of styles, including blues, bluegrass, country, rock and gospel. In 2011, the band was the winner of the International Acoustic Music Awards in the country/bluegrass category.
Prior to the concert in Washington, D.C., Horseshoe Road will perform compositions that will be shared with the world at the American Voices’ American Music Abroad 2013 World Tour Kick-off Concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the Oklahoma Judicial Center in Oklahoma City.
The kick-off concert will feature a sampling of the music the band will play on the tour, including a chamber orchestra performance of Oklahoma composer Callen Clarke’s romantic composition, “Normandie”; a specially commissioned arrangement of a traditional Taiwanese song, which the group will perform with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra while in Taiwan; and favorite Horseshoe Road tunes like “Faded Love” and “Orange Blossom Special.”
For more information about the American Music Abroad program, go to www.amvoices.org/ama.
To learn more about Horseshoe Road, go to www.horseshoeroad.net.