Abraham Jam

Here’s an unusual combination: world-class musicians and poets, a gorgeous auditorium, a good reason and theme for the show—and free admission!

Here’s the scoop:

The Abraham Jam will be a concert and poetry event at Duke’s Page Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. It will feature artists of the three Abrahamic Faiths —Islam, Judaism and Christianity.  The concert will be unlike any you’ve ever attended. Here are some reasons why…

• First, all three of the main musical performers are nationally/internationally touring professional musicians.  Dan Nichols and his band E18hteen are among the most popular musicians in modern Jewish music.  Dawud Wharnsby is actually flying in from Pakistan just for this show.  David LaMotte has performed 2000 shows around the world.

• Second, rather than taking turns, the musicians will all be on stage together, trading songs rather than sets.  That leaves space for spontaneous collaboration, and embodies mutual respect and support rather than simply talking about it.

• Third, it’s not just music. The poets are also prominent artists, and will be woven into the night rather than presented as the opening act. Kimberly McCrae, recently featured at an international poetry festival in El Salvador, Mohammad Moussa, recently heard on NPR and Camonghne, a nationally known slam poet from New York (recently seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices, which her team won), will be offering their art, as well as Chayla Hart, who crafted a piece specifically for this event. Spencer Paez will also contribute his improvisational dance.

• Finally, though it will be held in a 1200-seat auditorium with top-notch production values, the show will be entirely free.  A broad coalition of faith communities and organizations, on-campus and otherwise, are sponsoring the concert.  Seating will be first-come, first-served, and there will be no charge at the door.  Students are the primary intended audience, but all are entirely welcome.

The point of the night is to step toward building community.  The event was conceived in response to rising divisive rhetoric between the faiths, recognizing that the best way to counter bigotry is to build community that is strong enough to withstand it.

For more information, please visit www.abrahamjam.com


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  1. Sam says

    Below is a comment I posted on Discussion Board of the http://www.abrahamjam.com website. But I want to observe too that I have been surprised that there has not been more post-concert buzz on the web. Maybe it is happening on campuses. (My campus days are long over!) I thought I’d see an “official” Facebook page for the event, but there does not seem to be one. And is there a point person? As David said during the group’s WUNC interview, it is the “tomorrows” that are important. I agree. Maybe something is in the works to give this wonderful confluence of pebbles dropped in the pond more of a ripple effect. Hope so. – Peace, Shalom, Salaam

    I thought when I heard that this was going to be a 2-hour concert w/o an
    intermission, that we would be restless towards the end. I was wrong.
    If anything it became more and more riveting. I thought when I heard
    that this was going to be an unrehearsed jam session with artists who
    had never even met (at least not until the day before) that it was going
    to have a ragged pace with lots of miscues. I was wrong. It was
    spontaneous, but they never missed a beat. I was cynically suspicious
    that it would be kum-ba-yah-ish. I was wrong. It was provocative and as
    David said at the end, it’s a step, things are not well out there, there
    is work to be done. Many thanks to the artists, organizers, sponsors,
    volunteers and Duke for this wonderful, spirit-filled (and free!) gift.