FAITH, MUSIC AND CULTURE, an interfaith religion special, will be broadcast Sunday, June 7, on the CBS Television Network. Please check your local station for exact time.
Music is often a vehicle for expressing religious faith and belief. This broadcast looks at some modern music inspired within the varied cultures of four religions.
FAITH, MUSIC AND CULTURE highlights the work of Hasidic hip-hop artists DeScribe, Y-Love and Diwon, observant Jewish rappers with a spiritual message. In January 2009, the trio teamed up to release a four-song EP called Change. Their music is an effort to bring a more positive message within hip hop, to elevate and inspire, while encouraging unity among all people-regardless of faith or nationality.
Also profiled is the Brooklyn Qawwali Party, an eclectic 11-piece orchestra based in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group’s founder, Brook Martinez, was inspired by the music of the late Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and formed his own band based on this style of music. The result is the sound of Qawwali with a funky jazz sensibility. Qawwali is the devotional music of Sufis, the mystical arm of Islam. The Sufis believe that communion with the divine is possible through this music.
FAITH, MUSIC AND CULTURE then looks at Kirtan, the ancient Hindu practice of call-and-response chanting of Sanskrit mantras. Considered a form of meditation, Kirtan is growing in popularity here in the United States. Featured are Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits, a Washington, D.C.-based Kirtan group that performs in concerts across the United States.
Finally, we hear the all-male a cappella group, Anointed Voices, that formed two years ago after meeting at Christian-based The Bowery Mission in New York, which has provided homeless men, women and children with food, shelter and clothing all free of charge, since 1879. All were once homeless and struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. The members of the group, Eugene Chisholm, Dennis Ogarra, Ian Williams, Charlie Thompson and James Macklin have found fellowship and a shared love of music through their participation. Anointed Voices, performs in prisons, churches and for youth groups around the New York area.
John P. Blessington is the executive producer; Liz Kineke is the producer. The special is produced with the cooperation of the National Council of Churches, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Islamic Society of North America, The Union of Reform Judaism, and the New York Board of Rabbis