"The Ambassador Ensemble is a collective of diaereses and equal voices. When we are together, we feel appreciated, listened to, supported, challenged, smart, intense and powerful. We are musicians - each with unique talents and ideas- we have come together to make the community better."
Kalla, Kerrie, Keyonte, Rashel, Sebastian and Ziyad.
The Ambassador Ensemble
Last Sunday I had the good fortune to attend the very first performance of The MYCincinnati Ambassador Ensemble as a part of the Constella Festival.
I knew that these young musicians are talented and I was looking forward to seeing them perform, but I was emotionally unprepared for what this group delivered.
I was awestruck... and after a few minutes of unsuccessfully fighting back the tears, my friend Libby and I gave up and wept for the remainder of the show.
We cried because we are both moms to teenagers who are, or have been 14 years old, which is the average age of these musicians. And we wept because we remember, all too clearly, feeling the confusion and intensity of being 14... feeling both powerful and powerless and hopeful and defeated, all at once.
The six young musicians are glorious.
They are each insightful, talented, hard working and extremely courageous to do what they could as young musicians to stand up against inequality and work towards social justice.
Eddy Kwon is an extremely talented musician and teacher. He has served as a trusted mentor and friend to these six, making them feel safe and heard...asking questions, listening to their responses and supporting them in all the best ways.
I am proud of my city for wisely naming Eddy Kwon as an Art Ambassador and then helping to support him while he does his good works. He is a true gift to Cincinnati.
Michael Wilson, and his son Henry Wilson, were there too... doing what they do best, documenting the moments then putting it all together in a beautifully edited documentary that should go to Sundance.
Nine incredibly talented people, 6 of them young teenagers, all worked together for a year and created something beautiful. And everyone who has ever been 14 or who loves someone who is a young teenager, should go see this musical performance and documentary film.
The show is about an hour...you will wish that it was longer, and you will leave inspired, impressed and hopeful.
But please remember to take your hankies, I can garantee that you will be personally moved by the talent and grace of this group of young musicians.
The MYCincinnati Ambassador Ensemble will be together on stage for only four more free shows.
Do yourself a favor and attend one of these performances.
April 17th 8:00 UC African American Cultural Resource Center
(UC President Santa Ono will be joining them on cello for his first performance in many years!)
April 19th 1:00 Cincinnati Art Museum
April 24th 6:00 LISH Art Gallery Price Hill
April 26th 4:00 Clifton Cultural Arts Center