No-No Boy is an immersive multimedia work blending original folk songs, storytelling, and projected archival images, all in service of illuminating hidden American histories. Taking inspiration from his own family’s history living through the Vietnam War as well as many other stories of Asian American experiences, Dr. Julian Saporiti has transformed years of doctoral study into an innovative project that bridges a divide between art and scholarship.

By turning his archival research and fieldwork into a large repertoire of folk songs and films, Saporiti has been able to engage diverse audiences in difficult conversations, performing with a revolving cast of collaborators everywhere from rural high schools and churches to Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.

Join us for this special performance, presented in conjunction with Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

About Dr. Julian Saporiti

Dr. Julian Saporiti is a Vietnamese Italian American songwriter and scholar born in Nashville, Tennessee. His latest album 1975, released through Smithsonian Folkways, has been hailed by NPR as “one of the most insurgent pieces of music you’ll ever hear” that “re-examines Americana with devastating effect.” American Songwriter called it “insanely listenable and gorgeous.”

By using art to dive into highly divisive issues surrounding race, refugees, and immigration, Saporiti aims to allow audience members to sit with complication as music and visuals open doorways to difficult histories. 

Saporiti currently lives in Portland, Oregon. As a teacher, he has taught courses in songwriting, music, literature, history, Asian American studies, and ethnic studies at Brown University, Colorado College, and the University of Wyoming. He has also served as artist/scholar in residence at many universities and high schools across the country. Saporiti holds degrees from Berklee College of Music, the University of Wyoming, and Brown University, and has been commissioned by cultural institutions such as Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the National Parks, and Carnegie Hall.

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