Dmae profiles guitarist and singer Parfait Bassale who is about to debut his new EP of original songs. Originally from West Africa, Bassale weaves joyous guitar melodies with his intricate vocals. He often sings about his experiences and introspections of immigrant dreams and daily life.  Bassale performs live and debuts some of his new songs on the EP. He also tells about the Columbe Project, his peace education program for youth. 

And in the latter part of the show, we’re hear a story and poetry with Dilip Sunar, a Bhutanese refugee. Both Bassale and Sunar are featured in the Migrations Arts Fair on Jan. 31st at 2:30-4pm  at IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization.

(Aired 11am Tues 1/27/15 on KBOO 90.7FM) 

More about Parfait Bassale:

Parfait Bassale working with kids in Haiti


Parfait Bassale was born in Benin in April 1981. Because his father worked for an overseas company, Parfait Bassale had migrated throughout West Africa by age 13. Among his experiences were the ostracism of being labelled a “foreigner” and the challenges of language barriers, cultural differences, and integration.

As a teenager, he began using rhymes and rap music to express his frustration with society. Music became his tool for protest. Since then, his music continued to evolve. At 24, after moving to the U.S.A., he picked up a guitar and began writing songs to process and document his experience.

Parfait Bassale
Parfait Bassale

Parfait Bassale will be playing at the Migrations Arts Fair event. You can hear samples of his music and read more about him at




More about Dilip Sunar:

Suprina Koirala & Dilip Sunar
Suprina Koirala & Dilip Sunar

Dilip Sunar is a Bhutanese refugee from Nepal. Sunar along with his wife and eight children were one of a hundred thousand Bhutanese who were forced to leave Bhutan because they had a different language and culture. The Nepali-Bhutanese had been there for generations but had to take refuge in Nepal, losing their lands and property. Sunar and his family lived in little shacks without running water or much medical care until 2009. He still has difficulty walking from a broken hip that hasn’t healed right. Sunar will be reading his poetry with interpreter Suprina Koirala.

More about the Bhutanese community:

About 2,500 Bhutanese refugees currently live in Oregon.  The king of Bhutan imposed the Citizenship Act of 1985, which enforced a single national culture. It required Bhutanese who were culturally Nepalese to change their clothing and cultural traditions. The government also tightened its citizenship laws. As a result, Bhutanese people of Nepalese ethnicity — many of whom had lived there for several generations — were declared illegal immigrants. Nearly one-sixth of the population, or about 100,000 people, were expelled and ended up in refugee camps


Migrations Arts Fair event!Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.01.23 PM

For the last year, Dmae Roberts has been working on Migrations, a multi-disciplinary project creating radio stories and essays with photographer Nisa’ Haron on immigrant and refugee arts in Portland. It’s been a collaboration with IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community of Oregon. And now they’re ready to show unveil the project with the performances, stories and artwork of artists in the Portland community in a FREE event!

You are invited to the Migrations Arts Fair!

See/hear a variety of arts and performances with some samplings of cultural foods. It’s all FREE!IMG_4868


We’ll have performances by Parfait Bassale, poet Mohammed Bader (featured on Stage & Studio) who will read from his book “The Traveller” and Linda Dalal Sawaya, who will talk about “Alice’s Kitchen”–her book of stories and recipes from her Lebanese grandmother.

The project also involved the Bhutanese-Nepali community. We featured poets Moti Rizal (who will be in a video) and Dilip Sunar (who will be reading his poetry at the event).

We’ll have artwork from the Tongan Sewing Class, a group of women who get together and make beautiful quilts while they sing Tongan songs in harmony.Learn more at! Or  read more in The Asian Reporter. 

Schedule:  2:30-4pm

230- Welcome & Parfait Bassale performs

2:45 – Tongan Sewing Class

3pm- Bhutanese poet Dilip Sunar & interpreter Suprina Koirala.

3:10 – Karen Dancers

3:15- Mohammed Bader

3:30 – Linda Dalal Sawaya

3:40–Parfait Bassale Performs

4pm- Goodbye and Thanks!

Find out more at:


You can hear Stage & Studio on: