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Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

The San Diego Troubadour, October 2018

J. T. Moring wrote a nice piece on our June 2018 Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego concert series for The San Diego Troubadour.  Here are some excerpts:

The roots of American folk music stretch deep and wide, and indisputably tap into a myriad of worldwide cultures: bluegrass’ roots in Irish dance tunes, gospel’s in African call-and-response, Tejaño’s in German polkas, and on and on. The Center for World Music (CWM) promotes performing arts from around the world, expanding intercultural awareness and offering insights into our home-grown musical traditions.

 

The newest initiative at CWM is their Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego concert series, whose inaugural season kicked off last June. Each of the three themed shows included multiple performers followed by a discussion. The first show highlighted African performers; the second featured Middle Eastern stringed instruments; the third focused on songs, stories, and drumming from Middle Eastern women. These shows gave the performers an opportunity to recreate and reconnect with the culture of the homelands they left behind. They offered local audiences a unique chance to experience unfamiliar music, created organically on the spot by regular folks. The interpersonal bonds forged through those shows have helped weave the immigrant community into the fabric of San Diego life.

 

These shows gave the performers an opportunity to recreate and reconnect with the culture of the homelands they left behind. They offered local audiences a unique chance to experience unfamiliar music, created organically on the spot by regular folks. The interpersonal bonds forged through those shows have helped weave the immigrant community into the fabric of San Diego life

To read more, take a look at the full article here.

For further information, see our Songs and Stories event listing, as well as this KPBS video report. Finally, there’s also a photo album for each performance.

San Diego Troubadour Link

Refugee Women's Drum Circle

Refugee Artists in San Diego, June 2018

The Center for World Music celebrates the inaugural season of Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego, a CWM project that bridges the distance between San Diego’s refugee population and the general the public through the performing arts.

San Diego County is known as a relocation hub for those fleeing persecution and violence. Over the past year, CWM project volunteers and staff worked with local refugee communities to identify performers and artistic leaders. We then facilitated opportunities for these artists to creatively interface with the public, allowing audiences to become immersed in the traditions, journeys, and voices of those finding refuge in San Diego. Through creative arts the CWM aimed to share refugee experiences and contributions, reduce the social distance between San Diego public and its refugee communities, and encourage support of refugee communities.

During the month of June 2018, 49 musicians performed in three locations across the City of San Diego. The events, which drew large and enthusiastic audiences, were hosted by the San Diego Public Library system.

The Songs and Stories series opened on June 6 with Voices of Hope from Africa at the San Diego Central Library  The event featured Matrida Boazi, the Revelation Gospel Band, and Emmanuel Adamson, with the discussion led by Delores Fisher, musician and San Diego State University lecturer.

Revelation Gospel BandRevelation Gospel BandRevelation Gospel BandVoices of Hope Crowd DancingMatrida and Revelation Gospel BandMatrida Dancing with AudienceVoices of Hope Discussion

Here’s a short video of the Voices of Hope concert.

The next event was Musicians of the Middle East on June 16 at the Logan Heights Branch Library. Featured were Fouad Sawa and the Al-Salam Ensemble, along with Dlan Dary. The discussion was led by Dr. Alex Khalil, neurocomputational ethnomusicologist and project scientist at the University of California, San Diego.

Iraqi Refugee Al Salam EnsembleIragi Refugee Musicians AudienceIragi Refugee Al Salam Ensemble with Natasha KozailySyrian Refugee Musician Dlan DarySyrian Refugee Musician Dlan Dary

See more of Musicians of the Middle East in this short video.

Culminating the series was Transformations Through Rhythm & Word on June 21 at the City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex. The program featured storyteller Ari Honarvar, poet/songwriter Shadi Amini, and Shiffa: Refugee Women’s Drum Circle, lead by Dilkwaz Ahmed, Ari Honarvar, and Christine Stevens. The discussion was led by Vikas Srivastava, musician, author, and advocate of non-violence and social equity.

Refugee Storyteller Ari HonarvarRefugee Women's Drum CircleRefugee Women's Drum CircleRefugee Musicians ShadiRefugee Musicians Transformation DiscussionRefugee Women's Drum CircleRefugee Women's Drum Circle

KPBS aired a nice video on Transformations Through Rhythm & Word.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project was also made possible with matching funds from the Peacemakers Fund and through a partnership with the San Diego Public Library system.

Financial support was provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The CWM expresses sincere thanks to the San Diego Refugee Forum, the International Rescue Committee, Musical Ambassadors of Peace, UpBeat Drum Circles, License to Freedom, and San Diego Newcomers Support & Development Programs.

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Ari Honarvar Transformation Through Word and Rhythm

Refugee Communities Celebrate World Music Day

Evening Edition, KPBS Public Television, June 29, 2018

Please take a look at this fine KPBS video report on the CWM’s June 21, World Music Day program Songs and Stories: Transformation Through Rhythm & Word.

Refugee communities from Iran and Irag participated in this event at the City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex. The event was part of the CWM’s 2018 series Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists from San Diego.

The video report was produced by Mika Kanke and Brian Meyers at Media Arts Center San Diego, with help from Speak City Heights. Thanks to them as well as to the crew at our favorite television station, KPBS, along with our friends at the San Diego Public Library.

Events

Dlan Dary

Songs and Stories: Musicians of the Middle East

The Songs and Stories series aims to highlight musicians and artists from within San Diego’s refugee communities. Through lively performances and real conversations, the CWM hopes to immerse audiences in the cultures and journeys of a seldom heard segment of the vibrant and diverse fabric of San Diego’s population. 


Musicians of the Middle East

Please join us in celebrating musicians from the Middle East at the Logan Heights Branch Library. Parking is limited. On street parking is available.

Dlan Dary – Oud, buzuq and tanbūra

Dlan DariDlan Dary was born in the city of Al-Hasakah, Syria on Jan 1st, 2001. At two-months old, Dlan was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy and considered blind.

Influenced by the famous blind Buzuq player Said Gabari, Dlan’s father wanted a similar path for his son. At age 4, Dlan started to take private Buzuq lessons and within two years, he was recognized for his talent and made his first appearance on a national TV. Dlan continued learning on his own and expanded to other instruments.

Dlan fled Syria with his family to Iraqi Kurdistan in 2013, where they lived in a refugee camp for three years. Dlan produced three songs about the hardships and suffering that he and his family endured in the refugee camp during that time.

Dlan arrived in the United States as a refugee in November 2016 and settled in El Cajon, California. He is now attending school and hopes to join a professional musical institution where he can utilize his talent and collaborate with other musicians.

Dlan plays five instruments—including buzuq, bağlama, oud, darbuka and tanbūra—and is currently picking up violin and piano. To date, he has released more than thirty songs, fifteen of which are his own compositions. Dlan will be joined by a keyboardist.

Music House

Fouad SawaMusic House, led by Fouad Sawa, will be presenting five musicians performing traditional Arabic music.

Fouad Sawa was born in the city of Mosul, Iraq. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, Iraq in 1991. Eventually, Fouad moved to Amman, Jordan where he lived for 11 years. In addition to working full-time, Fouad taught music and established Al-Salam Choir in Amman who performed and recorded several albums. Fouad arrived in the United States as a refugee in 2009 and settled in El Cajon, California where he started to teach music out of his home. Fouad now teaches oud, guitar, and piano in a studio and is recognized as a distinguished Middle Eastern music teacher within the Arab and broader San Diego community. To date, Fouad has released over 120 records and currently teaching 35 students.

Visit the Music House Facebook page to learn more.

 

 

Discussant: Alexander Khalil, Ph.D.

Alexander Khalil, Ph.D. is an ethnomusicologist, performer, composer, and research scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Khalil’s research includes the role of childhood music education in the development of temporal perception and language and performance practices in many countries including China, Japan, and Indonesia. He performs regularly as a cantor in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Dedicated to arts education and the preservation of traditional music, Alex served as Executive Director of the Center for World Music for three years where he administered educational programming and events in schools and universities throughout the United States.

 

View and share this concert on Facebook.


This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

This project was also made possible with matching funds from the Peacemakers Fund and help from the San Diego Refugee Forum, San Diego Newcomers Support & Development Programs, and the International Rescue Committee.

 

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Transformation Through Rhythm & Word

Songs and Stories: Transformation through Rhythm & Word

The Songs and Stories series aims to highlight musicians and artists from within San Diego’s refugee communities. Through lively performances and real conversations, the CWM hopes to immerse audiences in the cultures and journeys of a seldom heard segment of the vibrant and diverse fabric of San Diego’s population. 


Transformation through Rhythm & Word

Join us as we delve into the transformative nature of rhythm and word. In celebration of World Music Day/Make Music Day we will encourage participation and sharing in the experience of parallel beating hearts. This program is participatory and includes drumming. The CWM will provide instruments. No prior musical experience necessary.

Ari Honarvar – Speaker, Performer, Translator, and Author

Ari HonarvarAri Honarvar was born in Shiraz, Iran. The Iran-Iraq war formed the background for her childhood. Coming from a family which strongly carried the legacies of Persian poets such as Rumi and Hafez, she has been drawn to share that artistic and spiritual wealth here in the USA which has been her home since age 14.

Her productions of A Thousand Faces of Love feature the poetry of Rumi. She presents a dynamic program including poems in Farsi and English in the form of Deklameh, Rumi stories, dance and the stories of Ari’s own encounters with the soul-saving power of poetry growing up during the Iran-Iraq War.


Shadi Amini – Poetry and Song

Shadi Amini

Shadi Amini is a poet, singer, and songwriter born in Tehran, Iran. Raised in a family that loved music, her grandfather was the source of life-long memories of Dashti, a form of traditional Persian music, being performed in her home. Growing up in this environment, Shadi loved singing old Persian songs in the company of her family and friends.

From the time she could write, Shadi composed stories and poetry that later served as lyrical inspiration for the songs she would create later in life. She was encouraged by her early teachers to continue developing her skills as a poet. Shadi’s need to express her emotions through words motivated her to study guitar so she could sing the poetry she so passionately wrote.

Pursuing her love of poetry and music as a profession, Shadi hopes to provoke the same passion in others that she has experienced herself.

Shifaa: Refugee Women’s Drum Circle – Music and Rhythm

Facilitated by Dilkwaz Ahmed, Ari Honarvar, and Christine Stevens

Refugee Woman's Drum Circle

Music lives inside refugees in El Cajon. From the driving Arabic beat to the mystical scales of the Middle East, music brings them home, holds memories, and invokes healing energy.  It is a cultural salve.

The Refugee Women’s Drum Circle started six years ago through a collaboration of Musical Ambassadors of Peace, UpBeat Drum Circles, and License to Freedom. The rhythms of cultural sharing allow for empowerment through community building, trust, and creative expression. The group includes women from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. The group is honored to share their creativity, songs, rhythms, and dance, not as a performance, but as an invitation to engage in a direct experience of unity through sound

The main coordinator is Dilkwaz Ahmed, award-winning woman’s rights activist and director of License to Freedom. Co-founder Christine Stevens brings music therapy expertise and experience working in northern Iraq. The group is facilitated by Ari Honarvar, founder of Rumi with a View, from Shiraz, Iran. The group is funded by Musical Ambassadors of Peace.

Vikas Srivastava – Discussant

Vikas SrivastavaVikas Srivastava is a lifetime musician, having performed on stage since the age of four in genres from traditional Indian music to punk, funk, jazz and Afro-beat.  For Vikas, music has always served as a medium for spiritual growth, multicultural identity and community solidarity. As a first generation American of Indian descent, he utilizes music and poetry to represent himself as part of socio-cultural groups and as a unique individual. He is also a longtime scholar and advocate of non-violence and social equity. Over the last 20 years, Vikas has integrated his research and practice of non-violent social change through arts and technology as a classroom teacher, administrator, consultant and public speaker for K-12 schools. His template for Gandhian School Design was published in The Living Gandhi (Penguin Books, 2013).  He currently works as an educational consultant, teaching mentor, and public speaker. He performs regularly with his international improv ensemble Born Again Buddha.  He also serves on the board of directors for the Tariq Khamisa Foundation and Kids for Peace, as well as the advisory board for Encinitas Friends of the Arts.

View and share this event on Facebook.


This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project was also made possible with matching funds from the Peacemakers Fund and through a partnership with the San Diego Public Library system.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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Sponsorship provided by
Caribbean Blue

Songs & Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

Songs & Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego

The Center for World Music announces Songs and Stories: Refugee Artists in San Diego, a concert series that will highlight musicians and artists from within San Diego’s refugee communities.


Matrida Umoja

Saturday, June 9, 2018 – 2:00 PM
Voices of Hope From Africa
San Diego Central Library, Neil Morgan Auditorium
330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

 

 

 

Dlan DarySaturday, June 16, 2018 – 2:00 PM
Musicians of the Middle East
Logan Heights Branch Library
567 S 28th St., San Diego, CA 92113

 

 

 

Iraqi Refugee Women's CircleThursday, June 21, 2018 – 7:00 PM
Make Music Day/World Music Day Event
Transformation through Rhythm & Word
City Heights/Weingart Library and Performance Annex
3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego, CA 92105

 


This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project was also made possible with matching funds from the Peacemakers Fund and through a partnership with the San Diego Public Library system.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

California Humanities
SCAC LogoSD Public Library Logo