CHICAGO – Genesis at the Crossroads invites audiences to zoom in on healing with its multicultural musical program. The livestream performance begins Saturday, Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Central Time with artists from around the world performing. Genesis at the Crossroads is a non-profit organization that uses music to promote healing and to build peaceful communities. Shure is a lead sponsor and is proud to help this organization unite professional musicians from Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, Morocco, Israel, India, Brazil, Venezuela, and the United States.
This virtual program features a global collaboration of Saffron Caravan Genesis’ professional world music ensemble with Genesis youth musicians from Chicago and other conflict areas worldwide participating. They show how music can be used to unite people regardless of age, cultural background, race, gender, religion, and language, and help celebrate our common humanity.
Saffron Caravan’s repertoire, spanning seven languages and multiple keys, explores both the sacred and mystical traditions in Arab, Jewish, Ladino and Persian music. Sub-Saharan roots of blues and jazz infuse the music spiced with Afro-Caribbean, South American and Southeast Asian rhythms.
For the first time in Genesis at the Crossroads’ 20-year history, Saffron Caravan is collaborating with youth musician graduates from the last five years of their Genesis Academy Summer Institutes. The youth are from Chicago and many different areas of unrest and conflict. All the students worked together virtually around the world to collaboratively compose four original songs for Sounds of Healing, one with Saffron Caravan. Saffron Caravan artists did the same.
“With so many divisions, escalating violence, the viral spread of bigotry and hatred, and racial inequities, exponentially worsened by COVID – we all need healing. Even our planet and the surrounding universe needs healing. It is an absolute pre-condition for building peace anywhere and everywhere,” said Dr. Wendy Sternberg, physician and founder and executive/artistic director of Genesis at the Crossroads, Saffron Caravan, and the creator of Sounds of Healing.
This program features award-winning musicians Badi Assad – Lebanese-Brazilian vocalist and guitarist; Aaron Bensoussan – Moroccan vocalist; Haytham Safia – Israeli/Palestinian/Dutch oud virtuoso, and Javier Saume Mazzei – Venezuelan percussionist.
Guest Artists joining them include, Katherine Davis, Chicago’s own Jazz legend of whom Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot named ‘2020 Chicago Esteemed Artist of the Year,’ and rising-star keyboardist Tony Milano, a Chicago native.
Honoring inspirational poets, actor and Genesis board member Stacy Keach will join the musicians for an original music compilation using the lyrical poetry of Guggenheim Fellow, Alberto Alvaro Rios. The late, lifelong global peacebuilder, Mark C. Johnson gifted his work, “Held in the Light” to Genesis for this Sounds of Healing program and it will also be featured with a vocal lead-in from Genesis youth musicians worldwide.
“Humanity needs healing, and the earth needs healing for us to have a better future,” said Mohadese Mirzaee, 2016 Genesis Academy Summer Institute graduate.
Those who helped write the lyrics and score some of the music include student graduates Muhammad Faran (Pakistan), Victor Angel Araque Rangel (Venezuela/Colombia), Patrick Reponse (Congo), Diego Madriz (Venezuela), Andrea Valentina Perez (Venezuela) and Roheena Madni (Pakistan) along with ten of their fellow graduates from around the globe.
A live chat program will be available to all registrants during the webstream. Sounds of Healing will continue as a multi-year world tour following the COVID pandemic starting in the fall of 2021 at Porbandar, India – birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi – before traveling to Brazil, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.