Ethno USA 2023 Applications are Now Open


Applications for the 3rd edition of Ethno USA are NOW OPEN! 

JM International (JMI) and The North Carolina Folk Festival announce a new partnership to bring the popular international musical exchange program, Ethno USA, to the North Carolina Folk Festival in Greensboro this Fall.

Ethno USA 2023 will welcome approximately 40 musicians from around the world (between the ages of 21-30 years old) along with 5 artistic mentors for a 12-day residency where the group will create a repertoire of songs from around the world played by a very unique Ethno orchestra. (Check out the video of the first Ethno USA to get a feel of what is to come HERE)

Ethno USA will also be inviting guest mentors Billy Two Rivers and Phil Wiggins, who will be visiting us on site and sharing their traditional knowledge and music with the Ethno USA ensemble. 

Participating musicians will get to experience a vast diversity of musical traditions both from the U.S. and other parts of the world. Between 12-16 songs will be shared from different countries and cultures. Participants bring with them a tune or piece of music which they teach to the other participants during the 12-day residency, creating a vibrant repertoire to be performed on stage.

All teaching at Ethno is peer-led and collaborative. Besides the formal workshops, there will be plenty of opportunities to share music, traditions and jam with each other. The residency will culminate in three performances for the public that will showcase traditional, original and newly-arranged songs created during the residency. 

Ethno USA’s public performances will take place on Thursday, September 7 (location TBA), and at the NC Folk Festival mainstage on Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9. 


Applicants should apply online via the following form: 

Scholarships are available for candidates that cannot afford the travel or participation fee (USD 318). Detailed information on Ethno USA is given in the Ethno USA brochure.


Announcing Ethno USA’s new Project Manager!

It has been an exciting year for Ethno USA as we expand to new partnerships and also now also a new project manager! Musician and international music-business veteran Myla Hardie joins the team. Myla brings a wealth of experience in international relations, project management, record label administration, recording production and musical composition knowledge as a musician herself for over 30+ years. She joins the team of world percussionist and producer Suchet Malhotra (Ethno Program Director) and Finnish-Swedish violinist Janina Hakopuro (Ethno Program Assistant).


Ethno is one of JMI’s 14 international musical exchange programs that gather young musicians (up to the age of 30) in collaborative and educational activities that foster intercultural understanding through music. Ethno is present in over 40 countries and is JMI’s program dedicated to folk, traditional, and world music. 

Ethno USA

Ethno USA is the US program of Ethno. In 2019, JMI received a grant from MN-based Margaret A Cargill Philanthropies that supported key areas of the growth and development of the Ethno program, and included the setting up and running of Ethno USA. Through a stakeholder meeting in Sep 2019, a large number of local and national stakeholders brainstormed on the how and where of Ethno USA. The first two editions of Ethno USA took place in Black Mountain, NC, in 2021 and 2022, featuring performances at the LEAF and Black Mountain Music festivals.


Folk Alliance International

JM International is  partnered with Folk Alliance International in Kansas City to bring Ethno to the US together with local and national stakeholders. Folk Alliance International is the world’s largest member organization for the folk music industry and community. Founded in 1989, FAI’s mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion.

North Carolina Folk Festival 

The North Carolina Folk Festival celebrates the rich cultural traditions of communities worldwide through music, dance, food, crafts and other folk arts to enhance appreciation of diverse traditions and contribute to community vibrancy and inclusivity. The annual North Carolina Folk Festival is one of the fastest-growing destination events in the Southeast, attracting people from across the U.S. to downtown Greensboro each September. 

JM International 

JMI is a global network of nonprofits that provides opportunities for young people and children to develop through music across all boundaries. Open to all styles of music, we work for, and with, young musicians across genres. By harnessing the power of music to bridge social, geographical and cultural divides, JMI programs create an international platform for intercultural dialogue and acceptance. 

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