Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh currently lives in New York, but he grew up in Damascus. Until recently, Azmeh traveled regularly back and forth to his homeland, before it became too dangerous.
In 2011, after protesters were killed in the streets in Syria, Azmeh stopped composing and started to question the role of his music. But after a year hiatus, he realized his music has a place that is important.
"Does the clarinet stop a bullet or does it feed a child or does it rebuild a destroyed home?" he asked Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "Of course it doesn't. But what it can do — it can inspire."
Azmeh is about to go on European tour with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.
- Kinan Azmeh, Syrian clarinetist.
This segment aired on August 21, 2014.