[Event Announcement] The Traditional Music of Vietnam: Roots and Resilience is co-presented by the Center for World Music and VANGO Network

Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/BxRYB0EA

Eventbrite page (register for zoom link)

The Traditional Music of Vietnam: Roots and Resilience co-presented by the Center for World Music and VANGO Network

About this Event

The essence of the strength and resilience of the Vietnamese diaspora is found in the traditional music of Vietnam. Folksongs connect people in recollection. And new works inspire audiences to share their stories. In this event, composer and multi-instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Võ reflects on her innovative take on traditional Vietnamese music. She presents a daring work for đàn bầu, a single-stringed Vietnamese instrument, and voice that takes inspiration from poetry by eighteen-century poet Hồ Xuân Hương. With her Blood Moon Orchestra, she offers a collaborative work for đàn tranh zither, taiko drum, and oud lute on the resilience possible in the pandemic. In conversation with ethnomusicologist Alexander M. Cannon, they explore the roots and power of the Vietnamese musical tradition and discuss new work for her MEKONG project. With something for all listeners, this concert offers hope for 2021!

Vân-Ánh Võ will address questions from the audience throughout the program, as well as during the Q&A.

Registration is FREE. A link to join the live stream will be provided in your confirmation email. If you’d like to show your support for Vân-Ánh Võ, we welcome you to make a donation through eventbrite.

About the Artists:


A fearless musical explorer, Vân-Ánh Võ is an award-winning performer of the 16-string đàn tranh (zither) and an Emmy Award-winning composer. She has collaborated with Kronos Quartet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Yo-Yo Ma. In addition to her mastery of the đàn tranh, she also uses the monochord (đàn bầu), bamboo xylophone (đàn t’rung), traditional drums (trống) and many other instruments. As a result, Vân-Ánh Võ creates music that blends the wonderfully unique sounds of Vietnamese instruments with other genres and fuses deeply rooted Vietnamese musical traditions with fresh new structures and compositions.

Born into a family of musicians and beginning her study of đàn tranh (16-string zither) from the age of four, Vân-Ánh graduated with distinction from the Vietnamese Academy of Music, where she later taught. In 1995, Vân-Ánh won the championship title in the Vietnam National Đàn Tranh Competition, along with the first prize for best solo performance of modern folk music. In Hanoi, Vân-Ánh was an ensemble member of the Vietnam National Music Theatre as well as a member of the traditional music group Đồng Nội Ensemble, which she founded and directed. She has since performed in more than fourteen countries and recorded many broadcast programs in and outside of Vietnam.

Since settling in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2001, Ms. Vo has focused on collaborating with musicians across different music genres to create new works. Ms. Vo has also been collaborator and guest soloist with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Kronos Quartet, Oakland Symphony. In addition to touring internationally, she has presented her music at Carnegie Hall, Zellerbach Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and as a composer and guest artist for the Kronos Quartet at the Olympic Games 2012 Music Festival. See Vân-Ánh Võ’s full biography on her website.”


Dr. Alexander M. Cannon is Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham (UK), where he teaches classes in ethnomusicology, critical musicology, and the traditional musics of Asia. He holds an MA and PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan and a BA in music and economics from Pomona College. He is published in the journals Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Forum, Asian Music, and the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, and has a book forthcoming on the southern Vietnamese genre đờn ca tài tử (music for diversion).

About the Organizers and Community Partners

Center of World Music is a nonprofit organization that fosters intercultural awareness and understanding through in-depth encounters with the world’s performing arts traditions. To that end, they sponsor educational outreach, performances, and cultural programs abroad. The CWM envisions a world that celebrates cross-cultural respect, communication, and healing through the performing arts traditions of cultures. For more information, please visit https://centerforworldmusic.org/

VANGO Network is a nonprofit organization with the mission of leading effective collaborations and strengthening the humanitarian, cultural, and development work by delivering capacity building workshops to underserved communities. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do to address health disparities, education inequalities, and social and economic injustices and promote cultural awareness. VANGO Network believes that arts are innovative tools for the promotion of diversity and artists provide a creative platform to elevate voices and stories of the immigrants, refugees, and oppressed groups to be heard locally and globally. For more info about VANGO, please visit https://www.va-ngo.org or follow on Facebook (@VANGONetwork)

The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) believes that the stories, imaginaries, and poetics of a thriving Vietnamese diaspora can unite our global community. Our mission is to celebrate and foster diasporic Vietnamese voices. DVAN presents nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to empower Vietnamese artists in the diaspora and to promote understanding and dialogue within our community, and with others. Our complex and diverse stories must be championed and passed on to current and future generations. We are refugees, immigrants, survivors, and descendants, and our stories must be heard. For more information about the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) please visit our website at https://dvan.org or follow us on Instagram (@weare_dvan)

This program is funded by the Center for World Music, California Humanities, VANGO Network, and Artists in Communities Grant, a Program of the California Arts Council.