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Israeli-Palestinian Music Group Brings Message of Peace To Worcester

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Heartbeat Ensemble

Heartbeat, the Israeli-Palestinian youth music community, will be performing at Clark University in Worcester on Sunday, February 24th. It is the fourth concert on their 15-stop U.S. tour where they will be performing at various universities, music venues and congregations along the east coast. The ensemble of young Arab and Jewish artists (ages 17-21), organized to bring the voice and sound of a better future in the Middle East, has already performed across Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Germany.

Founded in 2007, Heartbeat is an international non-profit organization uniting musicians, educators, and students to build mutual understanding and transform conflict through the natural power of popular music. Based in Jerusalem, the organization creates opportunities and spaces for young Israeli and Palestinian musicians to work together, hear each other, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them. In other words, Heartbeat seeks to combat the status quo of separation, fear, violence, and injustice with powerful sounds and voices calling for cooperation, equality, freedom, security and peace for all sides in the conflict.

"We hope to portray the living reality of the Heartbeat musicians working together, crossing boundaries, and to open a window for the possibility for a better future in the region. Heartbeat's ultimate goal is to build trust between Israelis and Palestinians by unleashing the creative power of each individual," says Shoshana Gottesman of Heartbeat.

The tour program features uplifting performances interweaving traditional and modern Eastern and Western music. Heartbeat members will engage audience members through interactive workshops and share their experiences of growing up amidst the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting their creative effort to build a better future as members of Heartbeat. Each event will hope to help forge lasting connections between US communities and the Heartbeat movement in the Middle East.

"People should attend this concert to be inspired and lifted up, whether you have a connection to the Middle East or not, you will be moved by this performance. The music features original compositions by the young Heartbeat artists blending influences from west and east popular music, reggae, hip hop and middle eastern traditional music," says Shoshana.

"Along with amazing original music, the performance offers an intimate perspective on the youth musicians' experiences growing up within the conflict and highlights the shared creative effort to build change."
Right now Heartbeat is working on opening chapters Haifa and Jaffa, and soon additional chapters across the entire region.

"With the proper financial support, we can make sure our youth voices are heard loud and clear across their communities. This is our debut tour and given the excitement around this visit we look forward to creating many tours in the future," Shoshana says.

The concert will take place at The Grind located in the Higgins University Center at 5 p.m.

For more information on Heartbeat, visit their tour website or look for their performances on YouTube.


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