Featuring musicians from three religious traditions, the Yuval Ron Ensemble will perform the concert “Mystical Music of the Middle East” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
Minneapolis-based dancer and choreographer Cassandra Shore will perform with the ensemble.
The concert is sponsored by the Sacred Arts Festival at St. Thomas in collaboration with the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and St. John’s University, Collegeville, and the Episcopal House of Prayer, Collegeville. It is free and open to the public.
Oscar-winning Israeli composer Yuval Ron described the concert as “a celebration of the light of the divine expressed in songs of Sufi Muslim origin from Turkey, chants from the Christian Armenian Church and Jewish prayers from Morocco, Yemen and Israel.”
The ensemble includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim musicians who endeavor to overcome national, racial, religious and cultural divides by uniting the music and dance of the diverse peoples of the Middle East into a unique and inspiring mystical musical celebration.
Formed in 1999, the ensemble has performed around the world, including at the International Oud Festival in Jerusalem as part of the Peace Mission Tour to Israel in 2007 and, invited by the king of Morocco, at the International Sacred Music Festival of Fez in 2009.
The ensemble has been featured on the National Public Radio "Echoes" and "Hearts of Space" programs and has performed numerous benefit concerts to support organizations that promote peace and help the disadvantaged.
Among the ensemble’s best-selling CDs are "Under the Olive Tree," "Tree of Life" and "Seeker of Truth.”
Shore, the artistic director of the Minneapolis-based Jawaahir Dance Co., is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost performers and choreographers of Middle Eastern dance. She performs and teaches dance regularly around the world and is the only non-Arab dancer to have performed at the annual Arabic festival, Maharajan al-Fan, in New York City.