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The Ethno Model

Ethno is a global music gathering for young adult musicians focused on the preservation of folk, traditional, and global roots music.

Present in 20 countries, musicians spend 8-10 days in an Ethno Gathering teaching and learning music with each other, while strengthening their skills in intercultural engagement, expanding their musical repertoire, and learning about the host locale. Ethno deepens — and complicates — our notions of cultural identity. 

Ethno USA is an opportunity to actively embrace the deep cultural diversity of those living within our nation, including  indigenous Americans and recent immigrants, while also welcoming those from beyond our borders.


Peer to peer exchange

Defined by an informal, peer-to-peer approach honed over 30 years, Ethno promotes intercultural understanding. Participants are fully immersed in a shared experience throughout the Gathering: eating and lodging together, strengthening social bonds, and peer-led music learning sessions trading their touchstone cultures with each other. 


Musicians ages 21-29 with passion for folk, traditional and global roots music. Through a selective application process, participants articulate their goals towards engaging with the complexities of diverse musical cultures, global heritages, and egalitarian methods of musicmaking. 


30 participant-musicians will be diverse in terms of cultural heritage, race/ethnicity, genres and styles, and instruments played. Half will travel from within the USA; the other half from nations around the world. Selection of USA participants will strive to represent the deeply multifaceted nature of American identities and musical heritages.


At the end of the Gathering, participants will share their musical explorations in a series of public concerts. Learnings will also preserved through recordings and a slate of media.

ethno usa

A partnership of Folk Alliance International and membership organization Jeunesses Musicales Interational, Ethno is focused on preservation of cultural heritage, fostering intercultural dialogue, and pioneering a signature peer-to-peer, inclusive, egalitarian method of learning about music and culture.