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Towards Peace with Music

May 11, 2009 —

Intercultural Journeys is an Arab-Israeli musical group devoted to breaking barriers between cultures and peoples in conflict through music. Philadelphia Orchestra Cellist Udi Bar-David, violinist Hanna Khoury, flamenco guitarist Adam del Monte and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos will explore and celebrate the commonalities and unique elements of Muslim and Jewish heritage in a performance on May 12th at 7 PM in the Mandell Theater, followed by a reception in the lobby. The Intercultural Journeys concert is being presented by the Richard C. Goodwin College of Professional Studies and the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel.

Cellist and Intercultural Journeys' Artistic Director, Udi Bar-David, is an acclaimed soloist who has performed with Israel's leading orchestras. He has been Principal Cellist in the International Youth Orchestra at Juilliard, in the National Orchestra of New York, and with the American Ballet Theatre. Violinist Hanna Khoury recently toured with Lebanese superstar singer Fairuz, and played lead violin with Iraqi singer Kazem Al-Saher and Grammy winner Youssu NDour. He is also the music director of the Arabesque Music Ensemble. Guitarist Adam del Monte is a dynamic force in both flamenco and classical guitar and has recorded for Deutsche Gramophone and with the Atlanta Symphony. Percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos is the Assistant Conductor with Disney's production of The Lion King, Broadway, New York - recipient of six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical, as well as the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. In 2006, he was the recipient of Drum Magazine's World Beat Percussionist of the Year award.

After a tour of Arab, Jewish and Buddhist villages in 1998, where they promoted their mission to bridge cultural divides through music, Udi Bar-David and local activist and philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno organized Intercultural Journeys' first public concert. Intercultural Journeys has had nearly 100 performances since its inception and has developed relationships with many well-known local, national and international artists including R. Carlos Nakai, Simon Shaheen, Diane Monroe and Jiebing Chen.

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