Middle East Musicians to Give ‘Concert for Peace’

Musicians of Dialogue/HewarMusicians of Dialogue/Hewar

"Dialogue/Hewar," a music group from Damascus, Syria, will bring its unique style of music to Harrisonburg, Va., in a "Concert for Peace," 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Lehman Auditorium at Eastern Mennonite University.

As their name suggests, Dialogue ("Hewar" in Arabic) seeks to build understanding and trust between people in America and the Middle East through music, the universal language. The group combines the Middle Eastern music of their homeland with the beat and style of contemporary jazz.

Musicians of Dialogue/Hewar include Kinan Azmeh, clarinet; Issam Rafea, oud (an instrument in the lute family); Dima Orsho, vocals; Omar al Musfi, percussion; and David Phillips, double bass.

Dialogue has developed an enthusiastic following through their performances across the Middle East and in Europe. The Daily Star of Beirut, Lebanon, said of their performance that Dialogue was "lovingly received by the audience," incorporating "a blend of Western and Oriental traditions."

This Concert for Peace tour is a follow-up to a similar tour last year during which Dialogue performed at seven churches in the U.S. The group has been invited to a return engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where they performed last year. Dialogue will also perform in Lancaster, Pa.; New York City; Dearborn, Mich.; South Bend/Elkhart/Goshen area of Indiana; Elgin, Ill.; and Rockford, Ill.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children age 5-12 and are available by calling the EMU box office, 540-432-4582.