In recognition of journalist Daniel Pearl, several Virginia Tech and community partners will sponsor Balkan Beat Box and Golem at the Lyric Theatre at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days was created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl’s family and friends came together to work towards a more humane world, forming the Daniel Pearl Foundation, whose mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and dialogue. Pearl recognized the ability of music to bridge differences among people using the power of music to promote tolerance and inspire respect for differences.

This event is sponsored by several Virginia Tech partners and the community, including Hillel at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Union, John E. Marek Holocaust Education Fund of the Community Foundation, The Gralla Family Philanthropic Fund, Blacksburg Jewish Community Center, Judaic Studies Program in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Blending electronic music, hip hop beats, and hard-edged folk music from the Balkans, North Africa, and the Middle East, the internationally acclaimed collective Balkan Beat Box is out to prove that the entire world is, indeed, a stage.

Time Out NY wrote that their self-titled debut on JDub Records “puts forth the group’s infectious formula: an utterly unkosher blend of furious horn lines, dance beats and irreverent lyrics.” The review goes on to say, “the group puts on a marathon live show that resembles an electronic gypsy circus.”

A band of New Yorkers, Israelis, Africans, and Bulgarians, led by ex-Gogol Bordello member Ori Kaplan and Firewater / Big Lazy's Tamir Muskat, BBB brings together folk traditions with electronic beats, video projections, and a rotating cast of guests including the Bulgarian Chicks, Victoria Hannah, Jeremiah Lockwood, gnawa player Hasan Ben Nafar, Israeli MC Tomer Yosef, and more.

Kaplan and Muskat have lived in New York City for the last decade where they led a new scene of underground immigrant-based music (J.U.F—Jewish Ukrainian Friendship and Gogol Bordello), which was based on the idea of taking ethnic music and modernizing it for contemporary audiences. Balkan Beat Box is a progression of this style of music, taking a worldly approach to the music of their ancestors, and evolving it to include not only the region of the world that they personally emigrated from, but also to incorporate the musical styles from their parents and grandparents birthplaces. “We intend to energize our community by continuing to present programs that are usually limited to larger metropolitan areas,” said Sue Kurtz, director of Hillel at Virginia Tech.

Tickets are available in advance ($8.00 with student ID, $15.00 for non-students) at the Squires Student Center UUSA ticket office and for $18 at the door, space permitting. The Squires Student Center UUSA Ticket Office is located at 129 Squires Student Center (0138), Blacksburg or call 540-231-5615. For more information, contact Kurtz at 540-953-2045.

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