What are you doing after Thanksgiving? Well The Henhouse Prowlers will be hopping a jet for an impromptu trip to central Asia. The guys have been invited by the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan to play at the Dostuk Music Festival in the capital of Bishkek.
The Prowlers have made a habit of traveling the world doing shows for the US Department of State. Previous diplomatic tours have found them in the African nations of Kenya and Nigeria, plus concerts in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and several spots in Europe. Wherever they go, they share the sounds of American bluegrass with the local audiences, and generally offer clinics to schools in the region.
Wherever they go, they try to learn a popular song to play in a bluegrass style to perform on their shows in each far-flung spot they visit. This time, they are working up a version of this snappy number, called Super Kyrgyz Folk Song, which is said to be big among the Kazak and Uzbek people.
Can’t you just hear a banjo in that?
The Dostuk festival is on December 1, and the band will also perform at an embassy function celebrating the 25thAnniversary of US relations with Kyrgystan. While in country, they also have a number of other concerts scheduled at area universities, along with master classes at the American Music Center and American Corner, and interviews with local media.
This trip is funded by the Arts Envoy program, which describes its function as follows:
The Arts Envoy Program shares the best of the U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations. American arts professionals– including performing artists, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theatrical and film directors, curators, and others—travel overseas to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people. Programs seek to connect with international publics who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with American arts professionals.
It will be a whirlwind trip, returning them to Chicago on December 5 to start a string of previously-scheduled dates in Nebraska and Colorado.
Hopefully the guys will share some photos from their Kyrgyzstan vacation!