Saturday, October 8, 2011


Danny; Manama, Bahrain

We played an event for a youth center in Manama Bahrain. We set up in their gym/auditorium and when the Students walked in, I got a sense of a diversity in the crowd. Matter of fact, I realized that since u had come to this country, most of the people we had met were from another country. Most had come to find work, become citizens and find a better life for themselves. Sound familiar? Up to this point, I still hadn't gotten a sense of what this country was about? I couldn't find the pulse as easy here as I have in other countries we have visited. I have since read the paper, asked some questions and now I understand some of the dynamics, but I haven't felt it yet. The more I travel, the more the borders of places get blurred for me and the global/corporate culture seems to obscure the local culture. Also, certain countries have become multicultural because of immigration and this can also blur the lines. As a touring cultural exchange musician, I deal with a lot of people from the service industry as well as embassy personnel, diplomats and and local government officials. This gives me a wide range of diversity in each place I visit. I put all this questioning and thinking out of my mind for a while and then it came to me. The individuals that I meet each and every day, waiters, drivers, sound guys, teachers, audience members. are where the pulse lives, not in the history, stories, the news. For me, each contact I have, each personal encounter goes beyond stories, beyond history and lives in the moment. The thank you's, the smiles, the communion of the sense of being which goes beyond language and words. This is the pulse, that place where we are all human.

This is also the place where creativity and the sharing of music lives. The barriers of race, language and cultural differences quickly drop away when we are all sharing in music.
Rhythm, harmony, melody and texture become the language that we all speak and even though the lyrics might be different, the emotion is still felt. This again became apparent as soon as the students heard the music and the room began to rock.
You could see it in the smiles and faces of everyone in the room.

Group photo at Youth Center

A student gets a chance to show us his groove

A guitar student gets his Latin feel on

The students performed a traditional Arabic dance for us. Their teacher and mentor told us that he was concerned that this traditional form of dance was in danger of fading away. The students were great and you could sense the pride on their faces as they performed for us.

The students in most countries are shy, but here it took at least a half hour or more to get them to even ask a question. Once we got them going, they were able to relax and even sing along with us. There were some musicians who got a chance to perform on a song with the band.

Joe and Johhny have a cutting contest on their new axes ;)

We left the center knowing we had made some new friends and connections.