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Photo: David Sutton Studios

As folk musicians, we listen, teach, perform, and carry on the music of our cultures. We understand how to collaborate with other musicians by listening to them. We respect and learn from people whose music is not familiar and try to find musical common ground. Listening, learning, respect, finding common ground--this is what it is to be a musician, but it is also how to engage with people of other faiths and cultures.

Photo: Julian Hayda

Listen to The Salaam-Shalom Music Project here on WBEZ Worldview, February 20, 2017

Drawing upon the traditional melodies of the Middle East and South Asia combined with those of Jewish music, Salaam-Shalom (which means “peace” in both Arabic and Hebrew) affirms the possibilities for mutual learning, enrichment and goodwill among Jews, Muslims and Christians. The Project members reach out to each other to teach and celebrate their heritage through music.

The Salaam-Shalom Music Project comprises distinguished artists from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and the Arab and Muslim professional music community, including first- and second-generation artists from Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan-Palestine, the former Soviet Union and the US. The ensemble draws from the wellsprings of ancestral folk songs and dances for their creativity. The oud (Arabic lute), daf (hand-held drum), ney (Arabic flute) as well as violin, clarinet and double bass create an entrancing atmosphere of spirit and spirituality.


Listen to Salaam-Shalom's unique sounds below:

“The band was simply amazing. Their incredible skill was matched by their openness, flexibility and their eager and willing-to-connect personalities. Giving our students the opportunity to witness such a culturally diverse group of artists is a priceless experience. Their blend of ethnicities and spiritual backgrounds, mixed with the high caliber of their talent, was truly an amazing evening.”

-Matthew Charnay, Jewish/Interfaith Life Coordinator, DePaul University

“This professional ensemble of Arabic and Jewish musicians--seven instrumentalists, four vocalists, and two dancers-- exemplifies and promotes peaceful collaboration. They set aside religious and cultural differences to all learn and all perform the folk music of both traditions. Perhaps more important than what the Salaam-Shalom Music Project does is the quality and spirit with which they do it.”

-David Beach, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

To book the Salaam-Shalom Music Project contact:
Klezmer Music Foundation
4025 Harvard Terrace 

Skokie, IL 60076

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