concert without borders
The Concert Without Borders, is a unique bi-national celebration of arts, music and community.
The idea was first conceived by musician and Cochise College music instructor Lori Keyne, who is choir director of the Binational Chorus “Música Sin Fronteras,” which she launched in 2005. Along with her husband, Seth Polley, and other local activists and performers, the dream of “transcending the border” grew into the series of concerts.
In this event, musicians and communities gather at both sides of the U.S./Mexican border, divided by a political barrier but united by something greater: the gift of music and dance as well as the transformative power of creativity and spirit. We come together not to protest but to harmonize, combining the beat in musical time with the strong beat of hearts committed to the common good.
The concert provides an outstanding example of public art, which incorporates Dance, Music, and Visual Arts, as well as providing a venue for children’s art-making activities and for local artists show their work.
The Concert Without Borders has taken place simultaneously in the states of Sonora and Arizona, immediately to the west of the Douglas/Agua Prieta port-pf-entry in the cities of Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora.
The audience has included the borderland communities of Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Elfrida, Agua Prieta, Naco, Cananea, Hermosillo, Phoenix, Tucson, and farther afield.
This event was free and open to the public and was widely publicized throughout US and Mexico. A number of videos are available here.
The Concert Without Borders began in 2012, expanded during the years 2014 through 2019, and was performed virtually in 2020. We hope to reinitiate soon.
From initial planning through performance, the Concert is a collaboration involving a broad range of community and government actors on both sides. The Concert continues to be an important means of building binational trust and working relationships that can be carried over to other community-building educational and cultural activities.
Concert Without Borders is a collaboration between BNAI and the cities of Douglas, Agua Prieta, the Mexican Consulate, and Cochise College. This collaboration has grown into a truly bi-national event, with musicians performing at the same time on both sides of the international border wall. The event has attracted national press and visitors from as far as Hermosillo and Phoenix. It inspired a similar concert on the border of Tijuana in 2017, as well as a concert performed in Agua Prieta, Sonora, by the Mexican Federal Police Band and a mariachi group from Mexico City.
Since 2012, more than 120 artists have performed in this event.
Performers include world-renowned classical guitarist Dieter Hennings, Coral Desierto, Agua Prieta’s Orquesta Municipal, the Binational Chorus “Música Sin Fronteras”, Tin Can Tourists, Cochise College Orchestra, the Essential Elements, with John Cordes, Caitlin Strachan, Evan Waters, Francisco Barrios, Cleve Jones, and Lori Keyne, the Agua Prieta Blues Band, the Orlando Suárez Blues Band, Dan Simonis & West Texas Millionaires, members of the Orquesta Sinfónica of Hermosillo, Nuevo Mundo Early Music Ensemble, Grupo Sin Miedo, Lowell Middle School Chorus, and many, many others.
Thank you all!