Temple B’nai Shalom’s Daniel Pearl Education Center is celebrating the fourth annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days, a worldwide celebration of music honoring the slain Wall Street Journal reporter and musician, with a joyous, spirited Brazilian jazz concert on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The irony is not lost on concert organizers and Center officials.
“Brazilian jazz is waves of energy and rhythm, with a open, surging quality,” says Ronni Rose, the concert organizer and a member of the Daniel Pearl Education Center’s leadership committee. “It’s a wonderful celebration of life.”
Four years ago, while researching a story in Pakistan, Pearl was kidnapped and later brutally murdered by extremists. Soon thereafter, to ensure that Pearl’s important messages of tolerance and understanding were reinforced locally, the East Brunswick synagogue’s leaders renamed its education center in Pearl’s memory in a ceremony attended by Pearl’s family, then Sen. Jon Corzine and fellow Senator Frank Lautenberg, and other dignitaries.
“This is always a time of joy and sadness for us,” says Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the Daniel Pearl Education Center. “The concert is meant to be uplifting and unifying. It is critical that our temple community and our community at large never forget that Danny died for something he believed in – a world community of peace and understanding.
“As Jews, we of course feel a great kinship with Danny. But as world citizens, we feel that same kinship,” he adds.
The idea of a Brazilian jazz concert was Rose’s. Jazz director of the Cornerstone, a nationally acclaimed jazz club in Metuchen, Rose had a commitment to the Daniel Pearl World Music Days and access to some of the country’s leading jazz performers.
The concert will feature the Cliff Korman Quartet, including Korman himself, a noted jazz pianist who has teamed with Brazilian bossa-nova legend Astrud Gilberto in the past. A Brazilian jazz composer and pianist, Korman has performed with major jazz musicians in the US, Europe and Brazil. Accompanying Korman will be Billy Drewes on tenor sax, Vanderlei Pereira on drums and Andy Eulau on bass.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. and is free to the community, thanks to the generosity of the musicians themselves. Rose says she really wasn’t surprised by the jazz community’s support for the concert and the cause.
“Cliff considered it an honor to present a musical tribute to Daniel Pearl, whose work and spirit must remain with us always,” Rose says.
Adds Center chairman Dr. Boyarsky, “This program, as with all of our Daniel Pearl Education Center programs, goes well beyond our temple community, and we encourage and anticipate broad interest. Danny’s vision and our raison d’etre are one – to bring all people together, in peace and in this case, in music.”
The Daniel Pearl World Music Days acknowledge Pearl’s belief that music could bridge differences among people. In just four years, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include thousands of concerts and performances in over 60 countries.
The Daniel Pearl Education Center is the only school-based center in the US dedicated to the ideals of the late Daniel Pearl. Activities of the Daniel Pearl Education Center include active integration of tolerance themes into the temple’s religious school and confirmation program, an annual tolerance scholarship at East Brunswick High School, and Holocaust education, including a widely acclaimed annual trip with St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church of East Brunswick to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
More information about the Oct. 10 concert is available from the main office at Temple B’nai Shalom, 732-251-4300.