The Abraham Jam is a concert and poetry event taking place at Duke’s Page Auditorium at 7:30 on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. It will feature artists of the three Abrahamic Faiths—Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
All three of the main musical performers are nationally/internationally touring professional musicians. Dan Nichols and his band E18hteen are among the most popular musicians in modern Jewish music. Dawud Wharnsby is actually flying in from Pakistan just for this show. David LaMotte has performed 2000 shows on four continents.
Rather than taking turns, the musicians will all be on stage together, trading songs rather than sets. That leaves space for spontaneous collaboration, and embodies their mutual respect and support rather than simply talking about it.
But the event will feature more than music. Four poets and a dancer will also be part of the line-up. The poets are also prominent artists, and will be woven into the night rather than presented as an opening act. Kimberly McCrae recently headlined an international poetry festival in El Salvador. Mohammad Moussa was recently featured on WUNC’s Morning Edition and The State of Things, and Camonghne, a nationally known slam poet from New York was recently seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices in a competition which her team won. Chayla Hart is a young poet who crafted a piece specifically for this event. Spencer Paez will also offer his art as an improvisational dancer.
The concert will be held at Duke’s Page Auditorium a 1200-seat hall with top-notch production values, and the show will be entirely free. A broad coalition of faith communities and organizations, on-campus and otherwise, are sponsoring the concert. Seating will be first-come, first-served. Students are the primary intended audience, but all are entirely welcome.
The point of the night is to step toward building community, primarily among students. The event was conceived in response to rising divisive rhetoric between the faiths, recognizing that the best way to counter bigotry is to build community that is strong enough to withstand it.