The world is crying out to end conflict and inhumanity.

We believe that, as humans, we all carry some aspect of egoism that creates negative energy.  But we believe
even more strongly in the communicative and healing power of music and song.
We have a chance to harness the divine power that is in each of us to heal and create a better world. 

Let us take this step together.

 

The disparate musicians of Common Chords have come together to tackle the most pressing issue of our time: the conflict and misunderstanding about and between the warring religions and cultures of the world.  Common Chords does this two ways:  Through performance and through a program working with middle school and high school students to write music in collaboration with other cultures in order to foster the next generation of intercultural cooperation and understanding.

The artists who comprise Common Chords have each developed a following for the power and beauty of their music.  Coming from different genres of music and world cultures and religions – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu - they have together created a musical collaboration that transports the listener, feeds the soul and unblocks the mind.  Common Chords concerts are noted for their seamless and harmonious performances and the effortlessness of the musical and personal collaboration.The artists combine their virtuosity in different genres of music - rock, klezmer, jazz, bhangra, Indian, Sufi, and Qawwali and klezmer vocals - into one harmonious new hybrid that is distinct to Common Chords.

In addition to their artistry, Jewish musician Yale Strom and Muslim musician Salman Ahmad are educators who have both received the prestigious honor of artist-in-residency chairs at San Diego State University and Queens College, respectively.  They have designed a curriculum for Jewish, Muslim and public school students. The Common Chords program was created at Queens College, where it continues to be part of Queens College's "Bridging the Divide" programs.

In these workshops, students are asked to write poems from a list of themes provided by Common Chords. These poems will be set to music by Strom and Ahmad and performed by Common Chords. The poets will feel invested in this cross-cultural dialogue and be encouraged to continue. They will be partnered with collaborators from other cultures under the mentorship of Ahmad and Strom in order to create the next generation of musical peace ambassadors.