As conflict continues in the Middle East and a new American president extends an olive branch to the Muslim world, The Qadim Ensemble, a group of Jewish and Arabic musicians, have joined forces to play for peace on a new CD. Produced by celebrated neyzen Eliyahu Sills and Six Degrees’ artist Jef Stott, “Eastern Wind” is being released worldwide this month on Embarka Records.
Eliyahu Sills, the band’s leader, comments that “music can be a tool in spreading cultural understanding and healing. ‘Qadim’ brings together musical traditions from the diverse cultures of the Middle East, highlighting their many similarities, and pointing to their common roots in the ancient history of the region. This experience of shared musical heritage can strike a chord of peace among people who are struggling to find common ground in modern times.” Rachel Valfer adds, “its hard to hold a grudge against someone who loves something you love, who sits next to you clapping to the same rhythms and moved at the same shift in the maqam mode. We have entered a tense room and felt hostility melt around this musical experience.”