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Al Mada Association for Arts Based Community Development together with UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East under the auspices of Commission General Filipo Grande are proud to announce that grammy award winners, guitarist John McLaughlin and tabla Maestro Zakir Hussainplayed a one off concert with their world-renowned group Remember Shakti, at the Ramallah Cultural Palace on Feb 14th 2012.

The concert is the first of its kind, a high profile solidarity event for Palestine, which will also further collaboration between Al Mada and UNRWA in providing the highest quality psycho-social care to Palestine’s refugee population.
Formed in 1975, Shakti pioneered a groundbreaking and highly influential east-meets-west collaborative approach.

The group, whose name means female creative intelligence, beauty and power, consisted of legendary British jazz guitarist John McLaughlin, North Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, violinist L. Shankar and ghatam player T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, both of whom hail from South India. Together, they created a fluid and organic sound that managed to successfully combine seemingly incompatible traditions.

Original members John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain will come together on the bands 35th anniversary with their Remember Shakti band members U. Srinivas (mandolin), V. Selvaganesh (kanjira) and singer Shankar Mahadevan for the concert in Palestine which follows an India tour in February 2012.


The motivation to stage the concert in Ramallah is to present an event in solidarity with Palestine, to raise awareness of and to promote Al Mada’s music therapy programs which provide much needed help to traumatized children, youth at risk, violated women and others in need in Palestine.

The concert in Palestine is McLaughlin’s second gift to Al Mada; in 2010 he donated the cash prize he was awarded at the prestigious Jazzahead festival in Germany to the organization. Having heard of Al Mada’s work and believing in its endeavor to use music as a tool for healing, decided to donate the entire prize to support Al Mada’s Music Therapy Center project.

The funds raised through the concert will fund projects which represent a combination of new initiatives and the expansion of successful previous collaborative efforts. All funds raised by the concert will be used directly to implement joint Al-Mada and UNRWA mental health and child protection projects.

If you’d like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview with the organizers please contact Jenny at jenny@al-mada.ps