American Music Abroad Exchange Program 2018-2019 (Fully-funded)

American Music Abroad Exchange Program 2018-2019 (Fully-funded)

Deadline: January 21, 2018

Do you believe in the power of music to connect people? Apply now for the American Music Abroad (AMA) Exchange Program 2018-2019. AMA is an international exchange program designed to communicate America’s rich musical contributions and diverse culture to audiences around the world. Approximately 10 ensembles will be selected to embark on a month-long, multi-country tour, where they engage with international audiences through public concerts, interactive performances with local musicians, lectures and demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions, and media interviews.

The mission of the American Music Abroad program is to facilitate cultural exchange via musical performance and educational outreach. The ensembles selected will conduct regional cultural exchange tours in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and the Middle East for approximately one month.

Prior to the respective tours, each ensemble will participate in the American Music [email protected] program in Washington, D.C., which includes a concert or education program in a local school or community center and an orientation at the U.S. Department of State. All events nationally and internationally may be recorded, posted on social media and broadcast non-commercially.


  • The U.S. Department of State funds international travel, hotels and an allowance for meals and incidental expenses;
  • In addition, a tour honorarium of $200 per day spent on the road is awarded to each individual musician in an ensemble.


  • Each musician must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and either hold or be able to obtain a valid U.S. passport. Please note they cannot make any exceptions;
  • Applying ensembles must be either trios, quartets or quintets (3-5 people);
  • The diversity of traditional American genres they are seeking, includes, but is not limited to Contemporary Urban, Hip Hop, Rock & Roll, Indie Rock, R&B, Jazz, Blues, Broadway Musical Theater and American roots music genres like Country, Gospel, Soul, Bluegrass, Zydeco, Cajun, Afro-Caribbean, Tejano, Southwestern American Conjunto, Native-American and Folk;
  • No musical group or individual musician may participate in the American Music Abroad program more than 3 times in the last 5 years, including prior iterations such as The Rhythm Road;
  • Bands combining or crossing-over genres will be considered;
  • Successful applicant ensembles are required to demonstrate artistic integrity, musical ability and knowledge of the role their genre has played in American history and culture. In addition, bands must demonstrate knowledge of innovative Music Business strategies and a strong commitment to community and education programming;
  • Applicants must be amenable to rigorous traveling and performance conditions, as touring regions and itineraries may be challenging;
  • In addition to concerts and media appearances, the selected ensembles will present educational activities that include, but are not limited to: workshops, classes and community outreach activities.

Selection Criteria

The following are criteria that would be used in selecting ensembles:

  • High artistic standards;
  • Demonstrated communication skills and the ability to communicate with diverse groups of vastly different age ranges, educational backgrounds, language abilities and levels of exposure to American culture and music;
  • Creative presentation of genre and education materials;
  • Demonstrated commitment to educational and community activities;
  • Knowledge of and experience in Music Business;
  • Experience and/or potential to thrive as cultural diplomats;
  • Ability to perform consistently and effectively in difficult touring schedules, climates and travel conditions;
  • Ability to obtain passport, visa, immunization and complete other preparations.


  • Begin your application here.
  • Each applying ensemble is required to submit three (3) audition videos. Videos must be on YouTube or Vimeo, and of the group applying. If the video is private please provide appropriate password.

Application Timeline

  • November 1, 2017: Applications open for the 2018-2019 Touring Season
  • January 21, 2018 (11:59pm PST): All completed applications and supplementary materials must be submitted;
  • Late January/Early February 2018: AMA announces finalists selected for live auditions;
  • March 19-24, 2018: Live auditions are held in New York (March 19-21) and San Fransisco (March 23). American Voices will work with ensembles to schedule live auditions dates and locations (audition location is at American Voices’ discretion);
  • April 2018: Final ensembles are selected and notified.

For more information, visit American Music Abroad.