5.1 TramCa3[1]
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Musician. Activist. Leader. Many names have been used to describe the impact of Nguyen Duc Quang on the Vietnamese community. First erupting into fame by performing as a singer/song-writer for the band Ban Tram Ca, NDQ saw the power of a unified Vietnamese people. His songs, which dominated Vietnamese life in 1960’s and 70’s, called for youth and community activism that served to unify people against war and oppression. After emigrating to America, NDQ continued his community work, helping establish two of the largest Vietnamese newspapers outside of Vietnam and a Vietnamese TV studio. Even when he passed away in early 2011, he had planned on doing one last reunion tour with his best friends and fellow musicians. 

But, to me, Nguyen Duc Quang had only one name: Grandpa. Growing up, I never knew about his music or cultural impact. He made a conscious choice to not involve his family in that side of his life and for good reason. In the eyes of the Communist Party that took over Vietnam after Saigon fell on April 30th, 1975, my grandpa was seen as a traitor. The mere act of playing his music in public would be cause for arrest or torture. Wanting to keep us safe, NDQ never told any of us, not even my mom or myself about his work. But, now 10 years after his passing, I want to uncover his legacy, to speak to those who knew him best, and reconnect the missing dots he left all those years ago.