Boston Concert of Sacred Music Speaks to the Heart

March 19, 2004

Source: The Boston Globe

On March 19, 2004 The Boston Globe reported on "the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, now in its 10th year. Founded after the Gulf War to encourage peace-building through music that crosses religious lines, the weeklong event has attracted growing international crowds. But most Americans have never heard of it. And Americans have a monumental amount of cultural clout. So -- pardon the expression -- Mohammed is coming to the mountain. 'The Spirit of Fes,' the festival's first US tour, arrives at Cambridge's Sanders Theatre on Monday, bringing music that ranges from centuries-old Andalusian melodies that weave together Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influences to the modern gospel of the Anointed Jackson Sisters of North Carolina. 'Music is the easiest language to create understanding,' says festival president Mohamed Kabbaj, a counselor to the king of Morocco, over the phone from Washington, D.C., the tour's first stop. 'With words, it can be difficult. You can be misunderstood. When you present your ideas with music, you speak to people's hearts, to their feelings. When you attend a performance, you realize that the similarities between people are bigger than the differences.'"