MYS Oregon to Iberia

Joe Kye: Music, Community & Tiger Tiger

Stage & Studio: Musician Kye talks (and plays, and sings) in Dmae Lo Roberts' podcast. Kids, anti-AAPI violence, his new band Joe Kye & The Givers, and a big bash in the park are on his mind.


Since he moved to Portland in 2016, Joe Kye has made a name for himself in the music scene as a respected musician and composer but also has created strong bonds with the Asian American Pacific Islander artist and creatives community. A classically trained musician, Kye became a violinist-looper while still in school. With a skeletal framed electric violin, Kye creates layers of melodies, recording digital repetitions in real time that fill the room with rich sounds. Kye also has a beautiful singing voice and has performed live internationally and recorded several albums.

After the Atlanta Spa shooting in 2021, Kye decided he wanted to have more connections with AAPI communities and bring them together through art.  His recent collaboration is called TIGER TIGER, a Portland-based event he is self-producing with community support as an effort to promote AAPI joy and nurture healing by bringing together AAPI musicians, creatives, and organizations. Kye is also debuting his new band Joe Kye & The Givers. 

Subscribe and listen to Stage & Studio on: AppleGoogleSpotify, Android and Sticher.
Hear past shows on Stage & Studio website. Featured Music by Joe Kye
“Stick On Me” and “Ice Cream Truck” with Bula.

In this podcast, Kye describes (plays live) his transition from classical musician to violinist-looper and his experiences as a stay-at-home new dad with twin toddlers during the pandemic, leading to a new venture for him of creating music videos for youth. We’ll hear his thoughts about the rise of anti-AAPI violence and racism and what led to creating TIGER, TIGER.


Musicians: SURRIJA, June Magnolia with Joe Kye.
TIGER, TIGER details:
  • When: 4-9 p.m. Sunday, July 17, 2022
  • Where: Fernhill Park, 6010 N.E. 37th Avenue, Portland
  • Featured artists: Portland’s indie chamber-folk artist June Magnolia, L.A. electro-pop band SURRIJA, and Portland’s joyful violin-looping outfit, Joe Kye & the Givers, among others.
  • AAPI creatives will share their stories, including poet-writer Ami Patel and poet/community organizer Kevin Aipopo.
  • Featured Food will be available for purchase from AAPI chefs Richard and Sophia Le of Matta PDX (The Oregonian’s Best New Cart 2019), Ethan and Geri Leung of Baon Kainan (PDX Monthly Greatest New Food Cart 2021), Lisa Nguyen of HeyDayPDX (Portland Monthly’s “Bakeries You Should Try Right Now”), and others.
  • Families welcome.  (Alcoholic beverages for personal consumption are permitted only during the concert, starting at 6 p.m.)
  • Learn more at


More about Joe Kye:  The Portland-based violinist-looper and vocalist “discharges world[s] of emotion” and delivers “divine messages” with his lush string loops and eclectic style (Guitar World). Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, Kye blends indie-rock, jazz, and pop to create a unique sound that “leaves everyone in awe” (Sacramento News & Review). With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye weaves together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, “song-bird sweet voice” (PopMatters) to create songs that groove, uplift, and empower listeners.


All Classical Radio James Depreist

A powerful storyteller with an inclusive sense of humor, Joe weaves his immigrant narrative through his performances, inspiring audiences to compassion and empathy in these divisive times: “…the American dream as it should be, [with] Kye reaching across the divide with music to try and heal it – for everyone” (PopMatters). Audiences will “learn about life as an Asian-American” (The New York Times) and “believe anew that something glorious awaits the lovers, the dreamers and you.” (Willamette Week). 

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody winning radio producer, writer and theatre artist. Her work is often autobiographical and cross-cultural and informed by her biracial identity. Her Peabody award-winning documentary Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII. She adapted this radio documentary into a film. She won a second Peabody-award for her eight-hour Crossing East documentary, the first Asian American history series on public radio. She received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and was selected as a United States Artists (USA) Fellow. Her stage plays and essays have been published in numerous publications. She published her memoir The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family in 2016. As a theatre artist, she has won two Drammys, one for her acting and one for her play Picasso In The Back Seat which also won the Oregon Book Award. Her plays have been produced in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, NYC and Florida. Roberts is the executive producer of MediaRites, a nonprofit multicultural production organization and co-founder of Theatre Diaspora, an Asian American/Pacific Islander non-profit theatre that started as a project of MediaRites. She created the Crossing East Archive of more than 200 hours of broadcast-quality, pan-AAPI interviews and oral histories. For 23 years, Roberts volunteered to host and produce Stage & Studio live on KBOO radio. In 2009, she started the podcast on, which continues at ArtsWatch.


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