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International Honorary Ambassadors

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Extraordinary Professionals

Our International Honorary Ambassadors are a select group of individuals that have demonstrated their commitment to music education for today’s youth.

These extraordinary professionals are masters of their craft, and strong advocates for music education.

As an International Honorary Ambassador they endorse the mission and values of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.

Their support allows us to expand our impact and reach new audiences across the world.

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Roberto

Alagna

Roberto

Alagna

International Honorary Ambassador

The greatest venues and festivals everywhere have welcomed him, from the National Opera in Paris and the Metropolitan Opera in New York to London’s Royal Opera House, the Chorégies in Orange, Berlin’s Deutsche Oper and La Scala in Milan.

In his 30-year career, French-Sicilian tenor Roberto Alagna has added over sixty roles to his repertoire: Alfredo, Calaf, Canio, Cavaradossi, Don Carlo(s), Don Jose, Faust, Manrico, Maurizio, Nemorino, Otello, Radames, Rodolfo, Romeo, Ruggero, Turiddu, Werther…, all in performances which have made Alagna the most famous French tenor in the world. Also, his taste for exploration has shown his love for lesser-known or long-forgotten repertory, via productions, concerts and recordings he championed such as Massenet’s Le jongleur de Notre-Dame, Le Cid or La Navarraise, Lalo’s Fiesque, Zandonaï’s Francesca da Rimini, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Le roi Arthus by Chausson and L’enfant prodigue by Debussy… He sang as well in Meyerbeer’s Vasco da Gama, a very rarely staged critical edition of L’Africaine. In 2017 at the Metropolitan Opera, he revived a flamboyant Cyrano de Bergerac by Alfano in its original version of 1935 (acknowledged as the “Alagna’s version” in the reissued score by Ricordi). Even two contemporary operas have been composed especially for him, Vladimir Cosma’s Marius et Fanny, after Marcel Pagnol, and Le dernier jour d’un condamné, after Victor Hugo, which was composed by David Alagna with a libretto by Roberto and Frederico Alagna, premiered on stage in France in 2014 and released in DVD.

A prolific discography, a fertile eclecticism

His genuine love for an immoderate number of roles (and the genius of their composers) has made Alagna’s discography as impressive as his insatiable curiosity for vocal art. Exclusive artist with EMI (1993–2004) then Deutsche Grammophon (2005-2017), he signed in 2017 with Sony Classical. With recordings for Erato, Sony, EMI and Deutsche Grammophon these past ten years, his discography is one of the richest that exists and covers a wide range: complete sets, duets, oratorios, operas, anthologies of great works, religious and popular songs. Credo, Viva Opéra, Airs de Berlioz, Bel canto, Robertissimo, Luis Mariano, Sicilian, Pasión are some of his numerous albums, reflecting the musical eclecticism of his career. His records have sold in millions. He was praised for his album released in late 2014, My life is an Opera, an emotional recital of arias and duets illustrating his career and personal story as a librettist’s tale. In fall 2016, he brought out a songs’ album, Malèna, offering original creations as well as reinterpreted great Neapolitan classics. In October 2018, Sony released his first duets album fully dedicated to Puccini, recorded with soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, and Warner Classics a full recording of La Navarraise by Massenet. A brand-new solo album – a tribute to great tenor Caruso – is expected before year-end 2019.

Joshua

Bell

Joshua

Bell

international Honorary Ambassador

JOSHUA BELL is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era. His restless curiosity, passion, and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of “classical music superstar.”

Recently named the Music Director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bell is the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958.

Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and orchestra leader, Bell’s 2014 summer highlights include performances with the Indianapolis and Detroit Symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Appearances at Aspen, Festival del Sole Napa, Ravinia, Verbier, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart and Tanglewood and two concerts with the New York Philharmonic in New York’s Central and the Bronx’s Van Cortland Parks round out the summer. Bell kicks off the new season at the New York Philharmonic, Toronto, and National Symphony Orchestra galas. A U.S. and European recital tour with pianist Alessio Bax, a week with the New York Philharmonic and a European tour with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields are just some of this year’s highlights.

The year 2015 commences with European tours with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe as well as a U.S. and Canadian recital tour with pianist Sam Haywood. Spring guest soloist performances with orchestras include The Munich Philharmonic and Ochestra Nacional d’Espana and three Czech chamber music concerts at London’s Wigmore Hall with cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk.

An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label. In October, 2014 HBO will air the documentary special Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass to coincide with the eagerly anticipated release of his Bach album recorded with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Malgosia

Bela

Malgosia

Bela

International Honorary Ambassador

Malgosia Bela (Małgorzata Bela) born on 6 July 1977 in Kraków, Poland is a Polish fashion model and actress.

Bela became a successful runway and editorial model in the late nineties, appearing on the covers of many international editions of Vogue, including Vogue Italia and Vogue Paris.

Lanvin, Valentino, Jil Sander, and Versace enlisted her in their advertising campaigns. In 2001 Bela moved on to an acting career, playing leading role in the Polish movie Stranger (dir. Małgorzata Szumowska) and the Italian/Polish production Karol: A Man Who Became Pope about the Polish Pope John Paul II. She continues to undertake film projects in Poland. She returned to the fashion industry in 2006, appearing in advertising campaigns for the houses of Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Jil Sander, Donna Karan, and Marc by Marc Jacobs, and for retailers H&M and Barneys. She appeared in the Pirelli Calendar for 2009 and 2012. She is the face of many cosmetic products, like Chanel, Stella McCartney’s perfume, Max Factor makeup. At the age of 34, Malgosia keeps working for the most important magazines and brands. Before her career in the fashion and film industry, Malgosia played the piano for 12 years and got her diploma in 1998, she also studied literature and linguistics, in which she majored in 2006.

“Even though I took a different path in my professional life at some point, music has always been very important to me. Twelve years of intense musical studies and playing the piano played a crucial role in my upbringing, in shaping my character, helping me becoming the person I am today. Music filled my life for many years and i am grateful for that experience, it definitely was the time spent well, even if I did not end up being a concert pianist. Today I observe my seven year old son beginning to read the notes and I wish the learning experience could be more exciting, more fun for children, who have so many distractions nowadays. I will always support with all my heart, a project that helps to introduce and propagate classical music, I believe our children, OUR WORLD needs that.”

Ron

Howard

Ron

Howard

International Honorary Ambassador

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard is one of this generation’s most popular directors.

From the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood’s most memorable films.

A Beautiful Mind earned Howard an Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture, and went on to win Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, Howard won Best Director of the Year from the Directors Guild of America.

Other films include the Grammy award winning Best Music Film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rush, The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Ransom, Backdraft, The Paper, Far and Away, and Cocoon, just to name a few. Howard has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning films and television shows, such as the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, Fox’s Emmy Award winning Best Comedy Arrested Development, a series which he also narrates, NBC’s Parenthood, and NatGeo’s award winning anthology series Genius.

Howard is currently in post-production on the film adaptation of the best-selling memoir Hillbilly Elegy, is in production on the documentary Rebuilding Paradise. His most recent film, the documentary Pavarotti, about famed tenor and larger than life talent Luciano Pavarotti, opened to rave reviews.

Howard made his directorial debut in 1977 with the comedy Grand Theft Auto. He began his career in film as an actor, first appearing in The Journey and The Music Man. He later stared as Opie on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show and as Richie Cunningham on popular series Happy Days, both Nielsen rated #1 series.

Whether it be from in front of or behind the camera, or for film, television or documentaries, Howard has been a part of many of the most significant projects in every decade since the 60’s.

Renée

Fleming

Renée

Fleming

International Honorary Ambassador

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence.

At a White House ceremony in July of this year, the President awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist. Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. Over the past few seasons, Ms. Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series for movie theaters and television, and Live From Lincoln Center on PBS.

As a musical statesman, Renée Fleming has been sought after on numerous distinguished occasions, from the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to performances in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games. In January 2009, Ms. Fleming was featured in the televised We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial concert for President Obama. In 2012, in an historic first, Ms. Fleming sang on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II. Ms. Fleming has also performed for the United States Supreme Court and, in November 2009, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s “Velvet Revolution” at the invitation of Václav Havel. An additional distinction was bestowed in 2008 when, breaking a precedent, Ms. Fleming became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala.

In 2012, Renée Fleming added a new role to her repertoire, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, at Baden-Baden in a new production by Philippe Arlaud, conducted by Christian Thielemann. She appeared in the title role of Arabella in a new production at the Paris Opera, conducted by Philippe Jordan. Her Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, under the baton of Constantin Trinks, was seen at the Munich Opernfestspiele. Renée began the 2012-13 season as Desdemona in Otello at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, and broadcast around the world via the MET Opera Live in HD. 2013 will find her at Carnegie Hall and Lyric Opera of Chicago in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, playing Blanche DuBois, a role she created in the world premiere. In June of 2013, she returns to Vienna as the Countess in Strauss’s Cappriccio, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach .

Renée’s busy concert calendar this year has included galas at the San Diego Opera, Providence Performing Arts Center, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, as well as appearances with the Seattle, Vancouver, Oregon, Colorado, San Antonio, Baltimore, and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras and the Santiago Philharmonic. Renée began the 2012-13 season singing for the inaugural concerts of Christian Thielemann as principal conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden and Yannick Nézet-Séguin as Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her 2012-13 recital schedule includes Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Quito, Bogota, Guayaquil, Paris, Geneva, London, Vienna, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Taipei. A January 2013 duo recital tour with Renée’s friend, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, includes San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Desert, Chicago, New York and Boston.

A four-time Grammy winner, Ms. Fleming won the 2013 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy Award for Poèmes (Decca, 2012), a collection of 20th-Century French music, including works composed especially for her by Henri Dutilleux. In June 2010, Decca and Mercury records released the CD Dark Hope, which features Ms. Fleming covering songs by indie-rock and pop artists. Recent DVD releases include Handel’s Rodelinda, Massenet’s Thaïs and Rossini’s Armida, a three in the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series, and Verdi’s Traviata, filmed at London’s Royal Opera House. Ms. Fleming’s 2010 DVD Renée Fleming & Dmitri Hvorostovsky: A Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg follows Ms. Fleming and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky to Russia, where they explore and perform in some of St. Petersburg’s most historic locations. In recent years, this fourteen-time Grammy nominated artist has recorded everything from Strauss’s complete Daphne to the jazz album Haunted Heart to the movie soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. She recorded Alexandre Desplat’s theme song, “Still Dream” for the soundtrack of the Dreamworks Animation feature, “Rise of the Guardians,” a major Thanksgiving 2012 release. Her recording honors range from the 2009 Echo Award for Strauss’s Four Last Songs to the Prix Maria Callas Orphée d’Or by the Académie du Disque Lyric for TDK’s DVD production of Capriccio. In February, 2012, Ms. Fleming received the Victoire d’Honneur, the highest award conveyed by the French Victoires de la Musique.

Renée Fleming’s artistry has been an inspiration to many other prominent artists, such as Chuck Close and Robert Wilson, whose portraits of her were included in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007 fundraising auction. Two portraits of Ms. Fleming were also created by Francesco Clemente, who revealed one in Salzburg in spring 2007, with the Metropolitan Opera displaying the other in 2008. Photographic portraits include works by Brigitte Lacombe, Annie Leibovitz, and Irving Penn, among others.

Ms. Fleming is a champion of new music and has performed works by a wide range of contemporary composers, including recent compositions by Henri Dutilleux, Brad Mehldau, André Previn, and Wayne Shorter. Among her numerous awards are the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal (2011); Sweden’s Polar Prize (2008); theChevalier de la Légion d’Honneur from the French government (2005); Honorary Membership in the Royal Academy of Music (2003); and honorary doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University (2012), the Eastman School of Music (2011) and The Juilliard School (2003), where she was also commencement speaker.

An advocate for literacy, Renée Fleming has been featured in promotional campaigns for the Association of American Publishers (Get Caught Reading), and the Magazine Publishers of America’s READ poster campaign for the American Library Association. She was honored by The New York Public Library as a “Library Lion.” Her book, The Inner Voice, was published by Viking Penguin in 2004, and released in paperback by Penguin the following year. An intimate account of her career and creative process, the book is also published in France by Fayard Editions, in the United Kingdom by Virgin Books, by Henschel Verlag in Germany, Shunjusha in Japan, and by Fantom Press in Russia.

In addition to her work on stage and in recordings, Renée Fleming has represented Rolex timepieces in print advertising since 2001. In 2008, she launched La Voce by Renée Fleming, a fragrance designed for her, with the proceeds benefiting the Metropolitan Opera. Master Chef Daniel Boulud created the dessert “La Diva Renée” (1999) in her honor, and she inspired the “Renée Fleming Iris” (2004), which has been replicated in porcelain by Boehm. Having been added to Mr. Blackwell’s best dressed list, her concert gowns have been designed by Reem Acra, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano for Dior, Douglas Hannant, Christian Lacroix, Oscar de la Renta, Angel Sanchez and Vivienne Westwood. In addition to serving as the face of opera for two public transit campaigns in New York and London, Ms. Fleming has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…, The Viewand Prairie Home Companion as “Renata Flambé,” among numerous other media outlets.

Ms. Fleming is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie HallCorporation, the Board of Sing for Hope, and the Advisory Board of the White Nights Foundation of America. In 2010, she was named the first ever Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is currently curating the creation of a world-premiere opera based on the best-seller Bel Canto for Lyric Opera’s 2015-2016 season.

Miloš

Miloš

International Honorary Ambassador

“Love at first listen”is how Miloš describes the moment when, as a child in Montenegro, he first picked up the old guitar that was lying around his childhood home gathering dust.

Fast forward a few years, Miloš signed his first record deal with the classical label Deutsche Grammophon and achieved major chart successes around the globe, turning him into “classical music’s guitar hero” (BBC Music Magazine) overnight. His 2014 recording of Rodrigo’s concertos had the Sunday Times calling him“The King of Aranjuez”, while “Blackbird–The Beatles Album” (2016) was received with unanimous acclaim. In front of 6000 people at the BBC Proms in 2018, Miloš performed the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s guitar concerto, ‘Ink Dark Moon’ written especially for him, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Committed to commissioning new repertoire for the guitar, Miloš joined the NAC Ottawa in May 2019 to perform the world premiere of ‘The Forest’ by Howard Shore. In September 2019, he will release his fifth album, ‘Sound of Silence’: a musical treasure trove that includes brand new arrangements of classical repertoire, affectionate nods to the pop world, and collaborations with friends.

Sting

Sting

International Honorary Ambassador

Composer, singer, actor, author, and activist – Sting was born in Newcastle, England before moving to London in 1977 to form The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.

The band released five studio albums, earned six Grammy Awards and two Brits, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Since 1989, Sting has released fourteen solo albums and received an additional 10 Grammy Awards, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. Also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he received the Kennedy Center Honors in December. Throughout his enduring career, he has sold close to 100 million albums from his combined work with The Police and as a solo artist.

The Last Ship, his latest release, is inspired by his memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in the North East of England where he was born and raised. A play of the same name, with music and lyrics by Sting, debuted on Broadway in October and was heralded by the Associated Press as “thrilling with powerful performances, outstanding songs, and real heart.”

Sting has appeared in more than 15 films and authored two books, including The New York Times best-selling memoir, Broken Music. His support for human rights organizations mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, he founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect both the world’s rainforests and the indigenous people living there.

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Wyclef

Wyclef

International Honorary Ambassador

WYCLEF – Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee

The music that Wyclef Jean has written, performed, and produced — both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees — has been a consistently powerful, pop cultural force for over two decades. ​In 1996, the Fugees released their monumental album ​The Score​ , which inspired notoriously prickly rock critic Robert Christgau to write: ​”so beautiful and funny, its courage could make you weep.” The album, created in Wyclef’s studio in his ​uncle’s basement ​in New Jersey, hit No. 1 on the ​Billboard​ chart, spawned a trio of smash singles (including their indelible reinvention of Roberta Flack’s 1973 ballad “Killing Me Softly”), and is now certified six times platinum. But Wyclef, a child prodigy with a wealth of musical influences from jazz to classic rock to reggae, resisted the pressure to duplicate the sound and style of that masterwork. Instead, he launched himself as a producer and solo artist whose work drew from an innovative and eclectic palette that included elements of ​pop, country, folk, disco, Latin, and electronic music.

“I just keep moving,” he says today. “If I didn’t keep moving after ​The Score​ , y’all wouldn’t have had the biggest pop song of all time.” Wyclef is referring to Shakira’s chart-topping single “Hips Don’t Lie,” which he co-wrote, produced and is featured on. That 2006 blockbuster climbed to No. 1 in 20 countries including the U.S. — a crowning achievement atop a nearly unprecedented run of hits that include Wyclef’s own “Gone Till November,” “Ghetto Superstar” (Pras feat. Wyclef Jean), Carlos Santana’s No. 1 single “Maria, Maria” (featuring Jean and Product G&B) and the late Whitney Houston’s “My Love is Your Love.” “The only record that captures Whitney, her daughter [Bobbi Kristina], and Bobby Brown all on one song,” Wyclef says of it.

Wyclef has been rewarded for his creativity and adventurousness with three Grammy Awards, a spot on the cover ofRolling Stone​ ’s special “Top 50 Hip Hop Players,” and the opportunity to make music with such legends as Michael Jackson, Queen, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, and Tom Jones. As a solo artist, he has released six albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut ​The Carnivaland 2000’s aptly titled ​The Eclectic: 2 Sides II a Book​ , which even turned wrestling superstar/action hero The Rock into a pop star with the international hit single “It Doesn’t Matter.” Through it all, Wyclef kept an ear cocked for new talent. He helped launch Beyoncé ́ s career with Destiny’s Child’s early hit “No, No, No.”

While it’s been eight years since his last studio album, Wyclef has not abandoned his dedication to sonic excursions. His new album the ​Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee​ , features contributions from Emeli Sandé, Supah Mario, The Knocks and Lunch Money Lewis.

When an era-defining superstar takes time between albums for eight years, people often wonder if the artist has perhaps retired, but Wyclef has never stopped making music. “Every day when I wake up, I go into the studio and record,” he says. “There’s always a guitar and a piano nearby. I’m always writing, that’s my survival. I don’t go to a therapist. My therapy is when I pick up my guitar and sing.”

One of the many products of Wyclef’s unfaltering passion for his craft was his collaboration with Carlos Santana, “Dar Um Jeito (We Will Find a Way),” the official anthem of the 2014 World Cup. The track also featured Swedish superstar DJ and producer Avicii and Brazilian singer-songwriter Alexandre Pires. Just a few months after “Dar Um Jeito” was released, Wyclef teamed up with Avicii again to create “Divine Sorrow,” an electro-acoustic ballad that instantly blew up on YouTube when the lyric video was posted, racking up four million views.

In 2016, Wyclef was back yet again another hit, “Hendrix,” the first single off of his EP, ​J’Ouvert​ . “Hendrix” garnered over 20 million streams worldwide, and also received warm reception from numerous music critics, including Edwin Ortiz, news editor of Complex who said: “ ​Wyclef takes this inspiration and turns it into a heat rock of a performance. He also showcases a double-time flow that proves he hasn’t lost a step from a lyrical standpoint.”

Wyclef hasn’t only been making music for the new generation; his work has influenced the new generation, too. One does not have to look much further than the name of the first track on Young Thug’s latest mixtape, ​JEFFERY​ , “Wyclef Jean,” to realize the impact Wyclef has had on hip hop and its next generation of musicians (each song on

JEFFREY​ was named after one of Thugger’s idols). Wyclef and Young Thug also collaborated on the ninth track on the mixtape, “Kanye West.” The creative connection was so strong between Young Thug and Wyclef that the two musicians teamed up again to record the Caribbean-inspired “I Swear,” the third single off of ​J’Ouvert​ .

Each of these unique tracks and moments are significant reminders that Wyclef Jean can still astound and impact people with his music.

One couldn’t blame Wyclef for wanting to take time away from the spotlight given the whirlwind of press, good and bad, he received after announcing that he was going to run for president of Haiti in 2010, the summer after a massive earthquake killed over 200,000 people. “It felt like something I needed to do at the time,” he says. Wyclef flew home to help and saw the devastation firsthand. “Haiti was in dire need and I wasn’t going to go down in history as just another musician who did nothing and just hid behind the songs,” he says. Born in Croix-des-Bouquets before moving to New Jersey at age nine, Wyclef has always kept very close ties to the Haitian people and continues to provide aid and consultation. His love for his native country was reciprocated by many and questioned by others. “I stepped into the fire,” he says. “People took shots at me, of course. But it’s better to be right than popular. And history will always reveal the truth. You can’t live for the fakeness or you will just be erased from time.” However, the fury and the frenzy of the election left him depleted. “When I got back to New York I was out of my mind,” he says. “I had just had a really tense experience. I thought I could change policy and legislation there, but coming back to America — yo, it hit me. I was like, ‘Man, what am I gonna do?’ I was at the height of my musical career. Nobody could stop me. I was moving like a bullet as a producer.”

As big a comeback as “Divine Sorrow,” “Hendrix” and “I Swear” have proven to be, one should not count on ​Fall and Rise of a Refugee​ as being an entire album full of mid-tempo tracks. “Do I have anything for the clubs?” he asks. You’re talking to ​The Carnival​ Man! I’ve done the biggest dance records of all time! I plan to put them on the dancefloor more so than ever. I know people want that dance floor bounce from me — that hip hop thing.”

Which leaves only one question. How long can Wyclef keep it up now that he’s back at his old velocity? “The forties are the new 20’s of hip hop,” he says with a laugh. And while he hints that the Fugees crew are all on good terms, and he doesn’t rule out a future reunion with Lauryn Hill and Pras, right now, Wyclef is trying to reckon with his past and write a new chapter. “The music I’m making, it’s sounding like the ‘90s meets 2017,” he says. “It’s very authentic and all about the vocality, making people feel and reminisce off of that sound they love but combining it with new sonics.”

Suzanne

Vega

Suzanne

Vega

International Honorary Ambassador

Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation (Biography Magazine), Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village Clubs.

Since Suzanne’s critically acclaimed debut 25 years ago she has sold over 7 million albums and has been nominated for 7 Grammy awards. Her song “Luka” about child abuse was a surprise hit and won MTV’s Best Female Video. Suzanne was the first artist on the main stage at the very first Lilith Fair. Her voice and song ‘Tom’s Diner” was used in the refinement of the MP3, earning her the nickname “The Mother of the MP3”. Suzanne recorded “Tom’s Diner” a cappella but it has since been remixed upwards of 25 times (including most famously by DNA, but also Will Smith, REM, Tupac, Jars of Clay, Destiny’s Child, Lil Kim, and Ludacris).

Suzanne tours constantly and continues to play sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known concert halls.

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