The seeds were planted....
On February 22, 2002, the day after the world learned that kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl had been brutally murdered by his captors in Pakistan, conductor George Pehlivanian, Danny's neighbor and friend from Paris, was scheduled to lead the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra as a guest conductor. Deeply troubled by the news, he was initially reluctant to perform; however, he decided to go ahead with his concert (which he proudly dedicated to Danny), rather than give in to the despair wrought by the evil inflicted on Danny.
"As the orchestra played Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, I finally understood the triumph of hope over despair," said Pehlivanian. It was an emotional and exultant concert, ending with 15 minutes of sustained applause.
After Danny's funeral in August 2002, in the spirit of his love for music, his family decided to inspire hope and unity by inviting people everywhere to dedicate a musical event on the day he would have turned 39 years old - October 10, 2002. Thus, the seeds were planted for Daniel Pearl World Music Days - now an entire month of worldwide "Harmony for Humanity" concerts - which reminds the world of the principles by which Danny lived, the universal power of music and our shared humanity.
World Music Days 2002 – 123 concerts, 15 countries
The inauguration of Daniel Pearl Music Days on October 10, 2002 was launched with a huge impact as it involved over 100 concerts in 18 countries. Musicians ranging from small amateur bands to the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Boston and Chicago dedicated performances to the ideals for which Danny stood: friendship, tolerance and a love of all humanity.
World Music Days 2003 – 290 concerts, 32 countries
Tens of thousands across five continents joined in the call for "Harmony for Humanity" from October 7-19, 2003 for the second annual Daniel Pearl Music Days. From school children to the Masters of Persian Music, from African drummers to Jewish Cantors, from classical ensembles to the Dixie Chicks, performers around the world used music to form a global community celebrating tolerance and mutual respect.
World Music Days 2004 – 398 concerts, 39 countries
The 3rd Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days which took place October 8-17 almost doubled in size from the year before. From the Boston Symphony Orchestra to R.E.M., from Sir Elton John to school children in Afghanistan, people joined together and added their voices to "Harmony for Humanity"; demonstrating the power of music to inspire hope and comraderie that transcends national, ethnic and religious lines.
World Music Days 2005 – 318 concerts, 40 countries
Daniel Pearl Music Days saw musicians from across the cultural spectrum perform in affirmation of diversity and our common humanity. Hundreds of live concerts, including Music Days honorary committee members Sir Elton John (who dedicated a week of performances of the song “Daniel” in Las Vegas) and Itzhak Perlman (who performed in America’s heartland) continued to bring the world together to celebrate “Harmony for Humanity.” Other performances included an African hip-hop concert in Amman, Jordan, Pakistani pop singer Fail Kapadia in Karachi, Pakistan; and vocalist Michael Franti in San Francisco.
World Music Days also expanded its presence in 2005 with the introduction of the “Harmony for Humanity” eStage, an online multimedia gallery featuring an Internet radio station, song lyrics, poems, dedications, stories and articles. Featured programs showcased Lullabies for Free Children, a collaboration of international composers and children from around the world, music inspired by Danny Pearl, including music from Iran, Israel, Italy, Ireland, the U.S. and more.
World Music Days 2006 – 376 concerts, 34 countries
Legendary singer Barbra Streisand, eclectic strings virtuoso Mark O’Connor, rock pioneer Bo Diddly and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco joined artists worldwide to affirm Danny’s belief that the universal language of music can bridge differences and create a hate-free world.
Concert highlights included Symphony orchestras in London, South Africa, Israel, Qatar, and the U.S.; jazz performances in India, China, Italy and Nepal; and the World Premieres of both master minimalist Steve Reich's "Daniel Variations" in London, New York, Porto, Paris and Los Angeles; and Avner Dorman's Violin Concerto by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra with Ittai Shapira, soloist.
In 2006, listeners in more than 108 countries tuned in to the World Music Days eStage Internet Radio Station offering original compositions and themed broadcasts, including a special dedication by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and rare recordings featuring Danny on fiddle, and of him playing bluegrass and rock with his longtime bandmates, Todd Mack and David Keehn.
World Music Days 2007 – 536 concerts, 42 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee members' concerts included Elton John in Las Vegas, Herbie Hancock in Japan, Tania Libertad in Mexico, Itzhak Perlman in New York City, Theodore Bikel in Phoenix, Salman Ahmad of Pakistan’s rock group Junoon playing in Oberlin and Ravi Shankar with his daughter Anoushka Shankar in eight cities worldwide.
FODfest (Friends of Danny Festival), coordinated by Todd Mack, had over 100 musicians - including many who had played with Danny - participating in a unique East Coast tour from Atlanta to Boston.
Other highlights were the Singapore Sun Festival in Singapore; Red Violin Festival in Wales; Beijing CD Jazz Club performance in China; concerts by vocalist Dianne Reeves, The Guarneri String Quartet and pianist Lars Vogt at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; cellist Michael Fitzpatrick dedicating a special invocation in conjunction with an appearance by the Dalai Lama; and "Take Back the Mic", a U.S. youth empowerment tour of major college campuses co-founded by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics with hip hop artists from Africa and Jamaica, and many more.
In 2007, listeners from more than 75 countries also tuned in to the World Music Days eStage Internet Radio Station. Grammy-nominated musician Peter Himmelman contributed a new song "Isn't It Golden Now".
World Music Days 2008 – 1,159 concerts, 63 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee member concerts included: R.E.M. in Dallas, Alison Krauss in California and Washington; Itzhak Perlman in Missouri; Herbie Hancock in Austria, Azores, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Netherlands and the U.S.; Tania Libertad in California; and Geroge Pehlivanian in Croatia and Germany. For the first time since inception, we had the participation of all 50 U.S. States.
Over 200 musicians joined FODfest (Friends of Danny Festival), coordinated by Todd Mack, in a unique East and West Coast tour, including many who had played with Danny. Other highlights were the Opening of the 157th Season of the Tbilisi Opera in Georgia; Jason Mraz in New York and Washington D.C.; Matisyahu in Virginia; Dave Koz in Japan; Wire in Philadelphia; Ozomatli in Louisiana; Tommy Emanuel in eight countries; Kamelot in four cities, and many more.
World Music Days 2009 – 1,712 concerts, 82 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee member concerts included: Sir Elton John in Russia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands, Itzhak Perlman in South Carolina, Herbie Hancock in Washington DC, Matisyahu in Germany, Netherlands, England and France, Ravi Shankar in North Carolina, New York, Michigan, Toronto, New Hampshire, New Jersey and California, Steve Reich in England and Mark O'Connor in Kentucky and New York.
In 2009, World Music Days saw a dramatic increase in youth, schools, houses of worship, student organizations and interfaith groups participate with specially planned events. Additional highlights included 23 U.S. Embassies around the world, Miley Cyrus, Dave Matthews w/ Willie Nelson, Creed and John Williams at the BOK Center-Tulsa, Joshua Bell with 2 events in Poland, Dave Koz dedicated his nationally syndicated radio shows and performances in Japan, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Israel, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, FODfest ’09 in 11 U.S. States and Taiwan, Himilayan Blues Festival in Nepal, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in England and University of North Texas dedicating all of their October Music School performances, and many more!
World Music Days 2010 – 1,749 concerts, 83 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee member concerts included: Sir Elton John, Itzhak Perlman in Illinois, Herbie Hancock in Ireland, Turkey , Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, Ravi Shankar in California, Dave Koz in California, George Pehlivanian in Belgium and Mark O'Connor in Texas, New York and Florida.
In 2010, World Music Days once again saw a dramatic increase in youth, schools, houses of worship, student organizations and interfaith groups participate with their already planned events as well as specially planned events. Additional highlights included 32 U.S. Embassies around the world, Sting, Linkin Park, Michael Bublé, Playing For Change, Imagine Peace World Festival at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, FODfest ’10, and University of North Texas dedicating all of their October Music School performances, and many more!
World Music Days 2011 – 2,244 concerts, 87 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee member concerts included: Yefim Bronfman in California, Theodore Bikel in Massachusetts, Dave Koz in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, Elton John, Herbie Hancock, and Itzhak Perlman.
In 2011, World Music Days reached the most countries and had the most concerts participate than ever before. Additional highlights included 38 U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world, Mary McBride, The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, FODfest ’11, and University of North Texas dedicating all of their October Music School performances, and many more!
World Music Days 2012 – 2,028 concerts, 79 countries
World Music Days Honorary Committee memebr concerts included: Elton John, Dave Coz and George Pehlivanian. Additional highlights included Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass, Kool and the Gang, Young the Giant, Earl Klugh, Grouplove, Switchfoot, Indigo Girls, Ozomatli,Jane Monheit, George Pehlivanian, Dave Koz, and Mark O'Connor as well as 40 U.S. Embassies and Consulates throughout the world.
World Music Days 2013 – Featuring You and Your Music Events!
Whether you are a professional or an amateur, The Daniel Pearl Foundation invites you to participate in this year’s World Music Days global concert network & eStage. To register a performance, click here. To learn more about contributing to eStage, click here.