Tribute to Bob Dylan Concert September 21, 2011 – Ljubljana, Slovenia

U.S. Embassy Ljubljana uses Bob Dylan covers to Promote Volunteerism in Slovenia

As American music icon Bob Dylan celebrated his 70th birthday. the U.S. Embassy in Lubljana planned to showcase Dylan’s legacy. and also to promote volunteerism among Slosenia’s youth. The Embassy marked Dylan's May 24th birthday in 2011 by releasing a CD featuring legendary Slovenian musicians covering different Dylan songs. Each song represents a different issue, and an accompanying book, loaded with information. was designed to raise awareness among the youth about issues which are vital to Slovenians.

cd sloveniaThe CD features many of Slovenia's best knwon musicians, and represents an amazing view of both the deep talent and diverse styles here. Musicians include Vlado Emilio, Laibach, Katalena. Zoran Predin, Hic et Nunc. Mia Znidaric. Niet, 6 Pack Cukur. Severa. Chris Eckman & the Frictions, Brina. Peter Lovsin, Murat & Jose, and even world famous opera soprano Sabina Cvilak. Each artist chose their own Dylan song, and each have managed to put their unique stamp on songs,that range from throughout Dylan's 50 year career. Chris Eckman, an American
musician living in Ljubljana, and a founding member of the American band the Walkabouts, served as the project's music director.
The project, which was conceived by U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Christopher Wurst, includes the music CD. a documentary film, a Dylan film festival and a major autumn concert at Krizanke. ‚”Our goal ‚was to showcase an American icon who is almost equally iconic in Slovenia," said Wurst. ‚”and at the same time encourage young Slovenians to get involved with issues that affect them‚ - just as Dylan has dene with generations of Americans and people around the world.”

The project was supported by funding from the U.S. State Department's relatively new Fund for Innovation, a funding source for creative projects aiming to showcase different aspects of American culture, especially to young people around the world. While this might have been the first time American diplomats have actually become music producers, the Fund for Innovation is helping diplomats break down old, preconceived notions about old fashioned cultural diplomacy. and helping to find actual avenues of mutual understanding.

It doesn’t hurt that Dylan still enjoys god-like status in Slovenia—something that becomes clear when listening to the passion in these performances. However, the music itself was a hook to get young Slovenes thinking about the wider world around them.

While the main theme of the project is volunteerism, it also aims to raise awareness about a large number of issues, including human trafficking. violence against women. child abuse, children’s health issues, mental and physical handicaps, youth drug prevention, asylum issues, the environment, fighting against corruption, development and global issues and regional
cooperation.

The documentary film captures both the artists learning how to adapt the different Dylan Songs and also highlights the above issues, and showcases work being done at the grassroots level by Slovenian volunteers. Award-winning filmmakers Maja Weiss and Peter Braatz are directing the film entitled “Forever Young.” which will make its premiere on RTV Slovenia in september 2011. The film will also be distributed by the U.S. Embassy to Slovenian schools.

Later in September, a Bob Dylan film festival will be featured ad Kinoteka, followed by a large concert on September 21st at Krizanke. The concert, which be mounted by the U.S. Embassy and Slovenska Filantropiia. will include many of the artists featured on the CD. and will be used exclusively to promote volunteerism in Slovenia.

 

In the above shown press info about their “Projekt Bob Dylan: Postani Prostovoljec!” the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana also announced a Tribute to Bob Dylan concert. This event took place on september 21, 2011 at the Krizanke Theatre in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The participating artists sang both Bob Dylan songs and (sometimes) some of their own material. I found the following recordings from the show.


embassyIn 2011 it was possible to write to the U.S. Embassy in Lubljana with a request for this unique item. A press-kit would be send, containing the CD, a booklet and a letter with all the press info (click the image on the left to view the letter).

 

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