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CAAMFest Directions in Sound: THAO

Sat, May 18, 1:00pm3:30pm

Thao Nguyen looking sideways, wearing a white shirt.
Sat, May 18
1:00pm – 3:30pm
Great Lawn, Yerba Buena Gardens
Mission St. between 3rd & 4th Sts.
San Francisco, CA + Google Map
(415) 543-1718


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Directions in Sound, CAAMFest’s fresh music showcase, returns once more to the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District for a renewed collaboration with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. Taking over the stage is Thảo Nguyễn aka Thao—San Francisco’s own artist, songwriter, touring musician and producer originally from Northern Virginia. Thao has also been the subject of Nobody Dies, a CAAM-funded documentary exploring her first trip to Vietnam as the daughter of refugees who fled during the war.

With an extensive and vibrant career in music, Thao has released music via legendary labels Kill Rock Stars, Domino Record Co. and Ribbon Music. A guitarist and songwriter, she has been featured by The New York Times, NPR, Austin City Limits, Pitchfork, Washington Post and many more. Featured in NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert in 2020, Thao’s genre-bending sound has flavor notes of country, folk, blues and pop yet made unique by her own style and lived experience.

Nikbo smiling, wearing a yellow sweater

Opening the music showcase is Nikbo (she/they), shapeshifting, spell-breaking Third Culture artist and songwriter. Born in Morocco, and raised in Malawi, Canada and Kazakhstan before settling in the Bay Area, Nikbo weaves sounds and stories from the diaspora to create music from the in-between. Her songs and writing have been featured by KQED, Smithsonian Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle and Hella Pinay. She is currently collaborating with her family and ancestors on a new project about grief, dreaming and healing.

Directions in Sound is a partnership with the Center for Asian American Media and its annual celebration of Asian American storytelling,  CAAMFest, taking place May 9-19.




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