Georgetown – The U.S. Embassy proudly introduced the five-member, all-female musical group Della Mae to Georgetown during their October 15-20 visit. Led by U.S. two-time Grand National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, world-renowned band Della Mae brought the unique sound of bluegrass music to Georgetown. Della Mae came as part of the U.S. State Department’s American Music Abroad (AMA) Program. Each year, musical groups participate in a rigorous selection process and are chosen by AMA to participate in tours where they engage with international audiences through public concerts, at schools, interactive performances with local musicians, jam sessions, and media interviews. Della Mae’s visit included elements of all these activities and more.
Della Mae was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award in the category of Best Bluegrass Album for This World Oft Can Be. The nomination came nearly a year after what they describe as a “ life-changing trip as musical ambassadors to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.” As they did in Georgetown, the band thrilled audiences to a distinct brand of bluegrass music, a subgenre of country music that combines the harmony of the fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and other instruments.
On Saturday, October 17 in the beautiful Promenade Gardens of Georgetown, an audience of nearly 1,000 people, including members of the diplomatic corps and the business sector, were treated to “An American Festival” complete with outstanding music, food and fun. U.S. Ambassador Perry Holloway opened the festivities by remarking that “the U.S. Embassy has a history of bringing unique musicians including dance troupes, jazz bands, hip hop artists, and alternative rock bands to Georgetown to not only share their skills and talents, but also to learn from our friends here about the rich culture and history of this Land of Many Waters.” Mayor Hamilton Green also welcomed the audience by speaking of the universal language of music and its wide appeal in bringing people together.
The U.S. Embassy partnered with The Global Friendships Foundation, a non-governmental/nonprofit organization with an aim to increase global co-operation at a local level, promote cultural understanding, and stimulate economic development. The event marked the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Georgetown and St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S. Guests entered the gardens by walking under a replica of the Gateway Arch, one of the most widely recognized monuments in the world. They were then treated to several hit songs by Della Mae. The event also showcased the talents of local artists Outta Box Experience, Music Unlimited, and Tennecia Defreitas. The collaborative experience created a musical synergy that was crowd pleasing. Many members of the audience indicated that it was truly a night to remember.
Della Mae thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Guyana and noted the warmth and hospitality extended to them by everyone they met. The group traveled to Kaieteur Falls to see an example of the natural beauty of the country and were struck by the “unspoiled treasure that is Guyana.”