Cambodian Surf Band Dengue Fever and Wildlife Alliance Partner to Preserve Cambodia’s Natural Heritage

Dengue Fever - Photo by Kevin Estrada
Dengue Fever – Photo by Kevin Estrada

Acclaimed Cambodian-American world music and surf rock band Dengue Fever  and the non-profit environmental organization Wildlife Alliance announced the launch of a partnership to preserve Cambodia’s natural heritage, including threatened populations of tigers, Asian elephants, and some of the largest tracts of rainforest remaining in Asia.

We share a common vision,” said Dengue Fever guitarist Zac Holtzman. “We want to preserve Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage, just like Wildlife Alliance is working to protect Cambodia’s wildlife species and forests. By rescuing and caring for wildlife species victimized by illegal trade, preserving habitat and educating and creating jobs for Cambodians, Wildlife Alliance’s work is vital to preserving Cambodia’s natural legacy for future generations.”

We hope that this partnership will help all of us who strive to save Cambodia’s unique heritage,” said Wildlife Alliance’s Director of U.S. Operations, Michael Zwirn. “Fans of Dengue Fever are naturally drawn to the artistic history of Cambodia, and we want to inform them how they can be involved in saving the country’s wildlife and forests alongside its cultural treasures.”

The partnership officially kicked off at the State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia on Friday, April 17, 2009 during Dengue Fever’s North American spring tour. While Dengue Fever performed, Wildlife Alliance worked a booth set up at the venue and educate and inform fans about Cambodian conservation.

Future goals of the partnership include benefit concerts, charity remixes, online commercials, and cross marketing on social networking sites and websites.

Dengue Fever began when keyboardist Ethan Holtzman discovered the traditional Cambodian pop music of the 60’s on a trip to Cambodia. Along with lead singer Chhom Nimol, bassist Senon Williams, drummer Paul Smith and David Ralicke on horns, the band perform updated versions of classic Cambodian pop songs as well as a wide variety of new compositions.

Since forming in Los Angeles, Dengue Fever has released three acclaimed albums, toured around the globe, and seen increasing attention from Pitchfork Media, the New York Times, National Public Radio and other media. The band’s third release, Venus on Earth, was selected as one of the best world music records of 2008 by the iTunes Store while Escape from Dragon House was named Amazon’s Best International Release of 2005.

In the documentary film Sleepwalking Through the Mekong, out April 14 on DVD/CD soundtrack via M80 Music, Dengue Fever performs their music in Cambodia as the first Western band to perform Cambodian Khmer rock since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

About Dengue Fever:

Dengue Fever is Chhom Nimol – who sang regularly for the King and Queen of Cambodia, Ethan Holtzman (keyboards), Zac Holtzman (guitar), David Ralicke (horns), Senon Williams (bass) and Paul Smith (drums). The band’s music has been featured in film and television shows including City of Ghosts, Must Love Dogs, Broken Flowers, HBO’s hit series True Blood and twice on Showtime’s Weeds. They have released three albums: Venus on Earth, Escape from Dragon House,  and Dengue Fever; and released their DVD/CD soundtrack to the documentary Sleepwalking Through the Mekong on April 14, 2009.


Wildlife Alliance is an international non-profit conservation and wildlife protection organization headquartered in Washington, D.C with field offices and partnerships in Cambodia, Thailand and the Russian Far East. Our field staff trains park rangers to prevent poaching and deforestation in protected areas and works with regional law enforcement officials to stop wildlife trafficking and put an end to the illegal wildlife trade. Wildlife Alliance also raises public awareness about environmental issues and supports local communities through sustainable development and alternative livelihoods.

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Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central


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