This year’s free community concert in celebration of Daniel Pearl World Music Days went virtual last month.

Noted jazz vocalist Marianne Solivan, who has received rave reviews from area, national and international audiences, was joined by a top quartet and performed on October 22 as part of the annual global Daniel Pearl World Music Days celebration. Marianne and the band performed on state together, and the event was live-streamed on YouTube.

The local concert was once again be sponsored – for the 16th straight year – by the Daniel Pearl Education Center (DPEC), a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of understanding and community. The DPEC sponsors a number of area programs and activities, including an annual trip to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for Temple B’nai Shalom’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah class, the eighth grade class at East Brunswick’s St. Bartholomew’s parochial school, and other youth groups; Daniel Pearl scholarships to graduating seniors at East Brunswick High School; teacher training workshops; a speaker series; and much more.

“This annual concert has been a great tradition in East Brunswick, and perhaps this year more than ever before, the ‘harmony for humanity’ theme really resonates during this challenging time,” said Dr. Andy Boyarsky, chairman of the DPEC. “It is so important that we continue to come together as a community, and an evening of great music, with a tremendous singer and musicians, seems like the perfect opportunity.”   

Solivan has made a name for herself as a hard-swinging, passionate vocalist who has a commanding stage presence. She has also created a band that incorporates many of her performing elements, including high energy, swing and a unique repertoire. The result has been a highly energized and swinging band that will take concert attendees through a wide range of musical elements, including big band, salsa and modern jazz.

Joining Solivan for the DPEC concert were:

  • Rodrigo Recabarren – drums. Originally from Santiago de Chile, Recabarren is widely recognized as one of the leaders of a prolific generation of Chilean jazz performers.
  • Alex Terrier saxophonist. Terrier is a French musician based in New York who has been associated with leading big bands.
  • Steve Wood – bass. Wood is an active member of the New York jazz scene and has performed at private events for Senator Chuck Schumer, Liv Tyler, Brooke Shields and Sir Paul McCartney.
  • Michael Valeanu – guitar. Valeanu has performed on a number of albums and is currently collaborating, touring and recording with Brazilian artist and Latin Grammy Award nominee Seu Jorge.

“We were delighted that Marianne and her bandmates were able to participate in our concert this year,” Boyarsky said. “Marianne’s music is so upbeat, and her enthusiastic is contagious.”

Daniel Pearl World Music Days was created in response to the kidnapping and murder in early 2002 of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl was a talented musician who joined musical groups in every community in which he lived, leaving behind a long trail of musician-friends spanning the entire globe. Commemorating his October 10th birthday, World Music Days uses the universal language of music to encourage fellowship across cultures and build a platform of “harmony for humanity.”