Thanks to all the artists, library team, community groups and individuals who came, performed, supported or took part in Winter Warmer Community Cohesion concert at Jubilee Library on the 27th January. The library was full for most of the day, with a supportive audience and many people coming together to share musical celebration of diverse communities and cultures in the Brighton and Hove area.
We made sound and video recordings, some are below, with a few more to follow, we hope you enjoy.
Thanks to the financial support of The National Lottery Community Fund, without which this event would have not been possible.
Bashir Al Gamar (Sudanese songs)
Tanushka and Sara (Poetry from Palestine)
Ukrainian Voices choir and Ukrainian Children's Choir (Ukrainian folk songs)
The Sussex Syrian Community Children's Choir
Merlin and Polina Shepherd (Yiddish songs)
The Choir With No Name (Choir for people affected by homelessness)
Children's Art Workshop
Brighton and Hove City Council Adoption Scheme
Rabeea Eid had originally been booked to read poetry. Rabeea is also a journalist, and the day before the event had been asked to go to The Hague to cover the South Africa vs Israel case in the International Criminal Court. Thanks so much to Tanushka and Sara for stepping in at short notice.
Salaamum/Peace (Part of the Syrian Ukrainian fusion)
The song Salaamun/Peace was originally composed by Jamal Alsaka. Dina and Polina have been playing Ukrainian songs together since Spring 2022. Jamal and Alaa have played Syrian, Lebanese & popular Arabic folk songs together since 2016. Both had met on several occasions when they'd been booked to play the same events. We'd discussed the idea of a Syrian/Ukrainian fusion . This first happened as part of a Music Action International project, in Summer 2023, where Dina learned the song with Jamal and Alaa. We decided to try and perform live together as part of a concert. The Sussex Syrian community children's choir rehearse each week with Jamal and other community members, as part of a community meeting. He'd asked if they could perform as part of our January concert at Jubilee Library. Dina, Polina, Jamal and Alaa had one rehearsal session at the library the week before the concert, and they all managed a rehearsal with the choir on the day of the concert. This was their first time performing live all together to an audience at an event. Jamal Alsaka, composition & percussion Alaa Wehbi, Oud and vocals Dina Shenderetska, vocals Polina Loubnina, Flute The Sussex Syrian Children's Choir, vocals. Thanks to all the musicians, the library, Sussex Syrian Community for their support.
Alaa, Dina, Jamal & Polina: Syrian Ukraine Fusion, Rehearsal Session
Dina and Polina have been playing Ukrainian songs together since meeting in Brighton in spring 2022. Jamal and Alaa since early 2016. Both duo's are popular in the Brighton, Sussex area and have played several events together, so it seemed a natural step that they should work on some material together, their first public performance will be at this event on the 27th January.
Polina & Merlin Shepherd, Yiddish songs from Eastern Europe.
"Yiddish is the 1000-year-old language of the Jews of Eastern Europe. Prior to the Holocaust there were about 12 million speakers of Yiddish. The vast majority of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust were Yiddish speakers. This, along with assimilation and emigration to Israel after the war, led to a massive decline in the use of the language. Today there is an active movement to revive both the language and its rich cultural heritage.
Yiddish songs are hugely varied. Some are spiritual and liturgical, rooted in cantorial and hassidic music, particularly the nign – a spiritual melody that hassidim believe changes consciousness. Others come from the Yiddish theatre and cinema. There are folk songs reflecting the history, hopes, memories and celebrations of Jewish people across Eastern and Central Europe, and there are others which reflect the political struggles against oppression."
Rabeea Eid is a writer and journalist from Palestine, residing in Brighton. He writes about political activism and social justice. Last year, he released his first documentary film "Last May in Palestine".
Rabeea will be reading poetry.
Bashir Al Gamar
Bashir Al Gamar was born in Sudan, he came to England in 1993, after being imprisoned for his poem 'Patience on a
beach' Since then he has lived in Brighton.
He is a poet, songwriter and composer, since 1991 he has written and composed more than 40 poems and songs, mainly in Arabic. Most of them are well known in his home country, Sudan. Some of his songs have been recorded by Sudanese National TV and radio. At present he is working on a new collection of poetry called 'Rhythm and Resonance' He is also planning to perform his poetry in several countries with a Sudanese singer. Bashir has taken part in several art exhibitions and poetry readings in the UK, in Cardiff, London, Liverpool and Bristol. He is a well known proponent of the Oud. His poetry and music mainly deal with his homeland, exile, human suffering and love. He writes in either classical Arabic, or in Sudanese local dialect. The words contain many emotions, images and metaphors and are written in a musical rhythmic language.
Syrian Ukrainian Fusion With Jamal, Alaa, Dina & Polina (With special guests The Syrian Children's Choir)