London-based organisation The Berakah Project unites musicians from Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. A UK tour from June 2015 celebrates 10 years of this revolutionary collaboration
The Berakah Project (Berakah), the not-for-profit music organisation, will be performing at the Watsonia Pavillion, Cross Flatts Park, Beston in Leeds on July 7th.
The free event is part of music charity The Berakah Players' 10th Anniversary Tour of England. The Berakah Players are musicians of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith heritage. Their unique sound fuses jazz, classical and Middle Eastern elements. This tour, which kicked off in London's St. James's Church, is being funded by The Arts Council of England and features new material and a new string section.
Each of the concerts has been organised with local community organisations. In Leeds, these are Faith Together in Leeds 11, a grass roots partnership of local faith and community organisations, which runs the popular Building Blocks nursery and the Hamara Centre, which provides services and events for the local community and aims to bring people together.
Mohammed Nazam, the founder of The Berakah Project, says: "It's my belief that music not only brings people together but it also helps the process of healing communities. The Leeds concert is being held on a particularly poignant day and we want to participate in and contribute to building bridges across all faiths. We are deeply honoured that Berakah has been asked to be such an important part in the healing process." He adds: "I'm delighted that Archdeacon Paul Hooper, the Rev Jacqueline Owen and Qari Asim MBE will open the concert in Leeds - it's great to have them as our guests."
Helen Bishop, Centre Manager at Faith Together in Leeds 11, said: "This is a great opportunity for all the community to come together to enjoy music which promotes mutual respect, unity and peace."
Hanif Malik, CEO of the Hamara Centre, said: "We are delighted to be involved with the Berakah Project and are confident that the event on the 7th July will help contribute to the great community spirit we have here in Beeston. The diversity of the musicians reflects the multiculturalism and broad range of communities that live in our area and music and the arts are always a great vehicle for further enhancing harmony within our society."
Rotherham Old Market Gallery 17th September
Oxford JdP Music Building, St Hilda's College 8th October
For photos and music please visit http://theberakahproject.org/videos/
Berakah, set up 10 years ago, is an inter-faith music initiative dedicated to crossing the boundaries of race, religion and culture through music. The core aim of this not-for-profit organisation is to promote dialogue and understanding between people of different faiths. Music can often build bridges that otherwise wouldn't exist, especially if there is a powerful and positive message in the music itself. The Berakah Project (meaning Grace or Blessing) promotes this message perfectly.
About Faith Together
*Faith Together in Leeds 11 is a unique grass roots partnership of local faith and community organisations, which came together in 1997 to promote regeneration in Leeds 11. Current members include the local Anglican and Methodist Churches, Hamara, the Asha Centre for Women and Vera Media. Faith Together in Leeds 11 is a not-for-profit charitable company. Any surplus income is re-invested in the nursery and local community. Faith Together set up the Building Blocks Nursery in September 2005 with 16 Ofsted registered places. This expanded in April 2008 to become a 44-place Ofsted registered nursery.
The Hamara Centre, a founder member of Faith Together in Leeds 11, opened in 2004 and provides a wide variety of services with the aim of improving the welfare of local people and bringing communities together.
CONTACT: On the night, speak to: Al (Alison) Garthwaite, Chair of Faith Together in Leeds 11 & Board Member of Hamara, +44(0)7957-152107