Music Beyond is more important than ever. The organization is dedicated to working directly with culture creators and community leaders in Congo, providing resources, access, networks, and skills-based knowledge transfer initiatives that strengthen, embolden, and empower Congo’s top musicians to become better teachers and more effective culture creators. It’s so important to do this kind of work in places like Congo where politics, bad business, and the media have had the effect of largely shutting the world out of Congo’s beauty and culture.
— JD Stier | founding director of Stand With Congo, activist, filmmaker, and community organizer
It is hard to put into words the importance of a program like Music Beyond. What founding president Kaori Fujii is doing is helping musicians to make their practice easier and more fulfilling. It is something incredible to witness, and it’s worthwhile in a way that I know I don’t even fully comprehend yet. I’ve never had to work as hard for anything as these musicians do on a daily basis to simply keep up their practice. I have been truly humbled by their dedication.
— Jessica Jane Hart | award-winning photographer and filmmaker
I love your passion Kaori, and your genuine belief in Congo. I can’t wait to continue working with you at our school to continue to strengthen our music.
— Noella Coursaris Musunka | founder of Malaika and ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

In the Musicians’ Own Words

Music is something extraordinary, because music is what is helping me to be strong.
— Josephine
I’m not tired even if it’s difficult, because it’s my choice to become a musician. The objective is to always be moving forward and spreading what I learn to others.
— Jose
We can still choose to live like human beings. Just because we are Congolese, we don’t have to be always sad and frustrated. We can still be proud!
— Jerry
I can miss my food or clothes, but not the music.
— Jacques
We don’t show that we are tired, because we are proud and happy to learn from you.
— Guylly
Music is a part of my life and most importantly, it’s a part of my body. Sometimes I feel like music develops within me the same way as any organs or senses of my body develop. Therefore my day jobs never stop or disturb me from doing my music.
— Johnny
I am just crossing my fingers that this is not going to be the very last time Kaori is visiting us, as we are available for her at anytime ... because being with her just added something new for me musically as well as personally.
— Nathalie