Friday, September 08, 2006

A Playlist for peace. . .


As a Quaker, I grew up in a culture of peace. My grandfather was a Conscientious Objector in WWII, and life long activist for peace and social justice, giving me an amazing example of the commitment needed to create lasting peace and the value of the peacemakers among us. There are many ways for each of us to bring peace into our own lives and into our communities. Many of the musicians on Calabash Music use their music to bring peace into our world, and I've put together a small selection of these artists here. Some of them are from war zones, one was a child soldier, some are calling for peace based on religious reasons, some for personal reasons. All are unified in one goal – peace. As we mark the 5th anniversary of 9-11 and as we face continuing violence in conflicts around the world, let this music sustain you in your personal quest for peace.

  • Peace Be with You – In 2005 Marcel Khalife was awarded the UNESCO's Artist for Peace award. In his many albums, Marcel is constantly addressing the issue of peacemaking, and uses his music to bridge divides, show similiarities and work for peace.

  • Give Peace a Chance w/Winston Mankumku Ngozi – All of South Africa is filled with hope for a peaceful future, and with the groundwork laid by Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and many many others, South Africa’s future looks bright. Here is a jazzy musical taste of peace from SA.

  • "A Song for Peace," This song is a direct call for peace, for ending wars, for hope... Not originally written by Shlomo Bar, but newly arranged by him in the mid-90s. This was the last song sung at the Peace Rally in which Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. The words to the song were on a piece of paper in his shirt pocket, and after the shooting it was shows on TV with the bullet hole through it and Rabin’s spilled blood. It became the anthem of the Israeli peace movement for many years.

  • Ya Salam – A song of peace from a former child soldier in the Sudan. When I heard Emmanuel Jal’s story at a conference in South Africa live from his lips, I was crying along with everyone else in the audience. You know you are in the presence of a peacemaker when you hear Emmanuel speak.

  • Zaman el Salaam/Time for Peace – A Live Recording from a Peace Concert in Oslo, Norway in 1994. Yair Dalal is another artist like Marcel Khalife who is tirelesslly making peace with his music.

  • Ya Oud – A haunting beautiful song by Elizabeth Ayoub sung in homage to an instrument spanning tribal/racial/religious divides. This young lebanese singer is working with Marcel Khalife’s son Rami to rebuild Lebanon through music.

  • Shalom Aleykhem (Peace Be With You) - The ultimate of what brass bands can give to sound and soul: Thousands of years after the fall of the tower of Babel; Jews, Moors and Gypsies finally reunite. Masters of brass from New York, Cairo and the Balkans meet to celebrate the rediscovered traits of their common past in mystic knowledge - and lung power.

  • Gazelle, my heart is parched - 'Gazelle' is a seamless and engaging collaboration by Kol Oud Tof that combines Hebrew liturgical poetry, Ladino and Arabic classical modes in a beautiful blend.

  • Salaam 'Alaykoum (Peace Be With You) – A plea for peace from another lebanese artist, Emad Sayyah. Music for peace that you can bellydance to!

  • Salam – A plaintive call for peace by Gigi Shibabaw from East Africa.

  • Maa el Salama [Go in Peace] – More music for peace that you can bellydance to! This time by Hossam Ramzy. What could be better?

  • Salam Malakum – A plea for peace from a Pan-West African band, Kabudu.

  • Dunya Salam - Baaba Maal – A cross cultural cry for peace by many musicians, with Baaba Maal singing georgeous suras from the Koran on top of everything.

  • I Will Fight No More – From the north american native tradition, here are words that we can only hope politicians and soldiers will make their mantra in the future. From Peter Kater's eloquent albums.

  • Peace Be With You – Another cry for peace from South Africa, this time from Sipho Gumede, another of the young guard.

  • Don't Fight – A cry for peace from Nigeria. Tony Allen was featured as our free single in early September, check our blog archives for more on his work.

  • Ya Adili Bilah – Another of the younger generation of artists, Eliyahu Sills, who plays with Shlomo Bar, is creating peace through his music and teaching of children. This song is a love song to God, an old arabic song sung in an Andulusian dialect of arabic. May our love for our gods shine through in the peace of our lives.

  • Ya Salam - A cry for peace from Senegal, West Africa and Ouza.

  • The Serpent - Two voices of harmoniously cry for peace and an end to the violence in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. The distinct harmonies of this song are a call for an end to endless violence. This duet between Maurice Chedid and Dorit arranged by Richard Khuzami is a plea for sanity in an insane part of the world. If we all practiced the basic tenants of our related religions, then all the manipulations of demigods on all sides would have no success: Respect and tolerance: with it we can move mountains, without it we only destroy...

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