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Common Chords closes Skirball’s Journeys & Encounters concert series

The Skirball Cultural Center presents Common Chords a culturally diverse ensemble of highly skilled musicians on May 16th.

Common Chords at the Skirball Center May 16
Skirball Cultural Center

Led by famed Pakistani singer and guitarist Salman Ahmad (of Junoon) and world-renowned klezmer violinist Yale Strom, the ensemble blends rock, klezmer, jazz, bhangra, Indian, Sufi, qawwali, and klezmer vocals into a distinct new hybrid of sound. The ensemble includes vocalist Elizabeth Schwartz, tabla master Samir Chatterjee, bassist Mark Dresser, dhol player Sunny Jain (of Red Baraat), accordionist Lou Fanucchi, and saxophone and flute player Tripp Sprague.

Common Chords’ concerts are noted for their harmonious performances and seamless musical and personal collaborations. In addition to their artistry, Jewish musician Yale Strom and Muslim musician Salman Ahmad are educators who have 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 as part of the school’s "Bridging the Divide" program, where students are asked to write poems from a list of themes provided by Common Chords. The poems are then set to music by Strom and Ahmad and performed by Common Chords.

This performance marks the closing of the Skirball Center’s music series, “Journeys and Encounters,” which showcased surprising collaborations between musicians of diverse genres. The concert takes place on Thursday, May 16th at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25 to $35. The Skirball Cultural

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