Global Gala Performers 2022

Pato Banton

Pato BantonPato Banton is a grammy nominated reggae legend that has recorded and toured the world with The English Beat, Steel Pulse, UB40 & STING! (just to name a few). During the year 2000, while in the midst of a global trek with Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD organization, that combined huge festivals with music outreach programs to poor and underprivileged communities, Pato learned that two of his sons had been shot in a drive-by shooting! He immediately put his career on hold and turned his sorrow into the impetus for community & educational initiatives that would consume the next six years of his life.

Pato created an organization called “Musical Connections” and in partnership the Community Safety Team, provided tuition and counseling for “at risk” young people in 16 different communities across his city of Birmingham, UK. This project was so successful that Pato was approached by the West Midlands Police Department to tackle the ongoing problem of gun crime in some of the poorest neighborhoods. Within a few years this partnership greatly reduced gun crime across the entire city and Pato was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the BBC and entered into the British Music Hall of Fame during the same year.

In 2006, after feeling that he had planted enough seeds of progress within his home community, Pato decided to relocate to Southern California and embark on the second phase of his musical journey, taking with him the years of experience in the field of Loving Service. Since then Pato has recorded many albums and collaborated with artists all over the world. His most recent albums Love Is The Greatest & The Words Of Rastafari were released on Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Records International.

Pato Banton’s four-decade public presence has increasingly transcended music to convey a positive & uplifting message of global peace and love for humanity. Now based in Southern California, he continues to record and tour the world extensively with his band The Now Generation, while simultaneously serving as a Teacher, Minister, Counselor and Mentor to his Fans, Friends & Family worldwide!

Madvhi Chittoor

Madhvi ChittoorMadhvi is a United Nations Child Advisor for General Comment 26, an official interpretation of the rights of children relating to the environment and climate change. She applied for the team after scientists who were impressed with her campaign on global plastic policy encouraged her to apply; she was notified in February that she'd been chosen from a pool of 300 applicants. The youngest advisor, she's also the only one from the United States.

"It’s a big surprise, and I am taking on very big responsibilities to represent the whole North and Central American regions," she says. Madhvi's passion for environmentalism was sparked by a CNN documentary called Plastic Island that she saw when she was five. "I got inspired from that that I need to do something," she recalls. In 2016, she wrote her first book, Is my plastic food?, and in 2017 she started her own nonprofit, Madhvi4EcoEthics, to focus on plastics and other pollutants.

During the last legislative session, she testified in support of HB21-1162, which will prohibit food and retail stores from providing single-use plastic bags to customers starting in 2024 (independent Colorado stores that have fewer than four locations are exempt). She also supported HB22-1345, designed to increase protections from "forever chemicals" such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl; it became law on June 3. (Source: Westword)

cootdog

cootdogA graduate of Chico State with a Degree in Music & The Recording Arts, cootdog grew up in The Bay Area and has been involved with music his whole life. During his time at Chico State, cootdog hosted a radio show on student owned and operated KCSC which gave him the bug.

Now putting in weekend work on Power 102.1, he also DJ’s at local clubs around Chico while not touring with his band Mystic Roots.

Aveva Dese

Aveva DeseAveva Dese, an Ethiopian-Israeli singer & songwriter, is a rising star in Israel’s music scene. Many of her songs are in Amharic (official language of Ethiopia) and represent a greater trend of Israeli musicians performing in various diasporic-Jewish languages spoken by members of their families and communities. These include Amharic, Russian, Farsi, Turkish, and Judeo-Arabic from North Africa and the Middle East, amongst others.

Dese’s sound fuses Ethiopian grooves and melodies with jazz and soul. Her unique mix of African, Middle Eastern and western sounds puts her at the forefront of Tel Aviv’s thriving world music scene. Danceable and accessible, yet sophisticated, Dese’s compositions and performances are indicative of the high level of musicianship and songwriting taught at her alma mater, The Rimon School of Music; Israel’s premier conservatory and jazz schools in Ramat Ha’ Sharon.

Dese is part of a young generation of Israeli musicians rising to the top of the world’s rank of musical talent. This generation is known internationally for their deep knowledge of Jazz and music theory combined with fluent commands of the diverse sounds and musical styles being performed in Israel’s music scene. (CIE Center for Israeli Education)

Yael Deckelbaum

Yael DeckelbaumYael Deckelbaum, is a platinum award-winning Israeli/Canadian singer/songwriter and activist. Known as a founding member of Habanot Nechama, an Israeli folk band who’s self-titled album went platinum in Israel with over 40,000 records sold.

In 2016, Her song “Prayer Of The Mothers”, originally written to support the Women Wage Peace Movement, went viral on social media. In the video, thousands of Palestinian and Israeli women unite in a winding march of hope in the desert sands of the Middle East. This visionary song subsequently turned into an international peace anthem. Shared by millions, it inspired women across the globe to get together and take action.  

Yael performs internationally throughout Israel, Europe and the USA, where she has become more and more active in using her music to inspire positive change and support non-violent communication between cultures that are in conflict, emphasising the necessity of women leadership.

Aliza Hava

AlizaHavaEthereal. Enlightening. Medicine for the soul. Aliza Hava (“aLEEza Hah-vuh”) interlaces the elements, earth and sky, fire and water. Her transcendent voice recreates the mystical tone of Stevie Nicks, the raw soul of Janis Joplin, and the energizing strength of Florence Welch. With her award-winning infusion of folk, rock, pop and R&B, Aliza heals the tiny forgotten bits of ourselves while rekindling our memories, setting our feet on the path to return home and calling us to rise into our best versions of ourselves.

Seeking solace from a difficult childhood, Hava turned to music at an early age. Self-taught on a twenty-dollar used guitar, she found inspiration in an old songbook she discovered in her parent’s basement, 'Great Songs of the 60s.'  Fire-lit, Hava immersed herself in the history of the 60s and early 70s. The music, culture and activism helped her discover her calling for healing and ignited a drive to write songs that could change the world.

After college, Aliza began performing at and co-producing concerts at the United Nations headquarters in NYC. She earned a position as Chair of the UN International Day of Peace NGO Music Committee and went on to produce live concerts on six continents in partnership with over forty civic society, governmental and environmental organizations. While living part-time in the Middle East, Hava represented UN-related peacebuilding initiatives and worked with Israeli and Palestinian musicians promoting peace and dialogue through music. She went on to produce the internationally livestreamed concert Harmony in the Holy Land.

Elizaveta Izmalkova

Elizaveta IzmalkovaElizaveta Izmalkova is a Ukrainian singer who was forced to flee her homeland after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014. Since 2015, she has been living and studying in Lithuania.

When Russia started the war in Ukraine on February 24 2022, Elizaveta's family home was destroyed for the second time by the Russian army. Elizaveta's mother and brother remained in Ukraine to fight for their country.

Elizaveta is safe in Lithuania and together with 300 Lithuanians performed a now-viral Ukrainian folk song to draw attention to the ongoing war and suffering of the Ukrainian people, as well as to send strength to her family and country.

The Mothers

The MothersThe Mothers is an all-women ensemble based in Israel. Formed by Yael Deckelbaum, the ensemble travels with her for the same cause, giving this global outburst a soundtrack of its own.

Uniting on one stage, twelve women of secular, religious, Arabic, and Jewish background, announcing together through a celebration of music, the message of a new world. A world where we see the beauty of our diversity, unite above religion and nationality, to restore the true values of kindness, mutual responsibility and hope.

Since its creation, “The Mothers” have performed in front of thousands of people in three of Israel’s most prestigious festivals: Menashe Forest Festival, The Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival and Indnegev. Internationally they have played several notable festivals in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and Canada.

Nimo Patel

Nimo PatelBorn and raised in Los Angeles, Nimo found his way to his current work in India via an Ivy League education, finding fame as a rap star with MTV and a stint working on Wall Street. His Empty Hands project works to spread seeds of goodness through its music, events and sharing across the world, as well as through grassroots, arts-based service work from the Gandhi Ashram, for underprivileged children in the slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

Nimo tells the story of his early life, growing up in privilege and enjoying material success. After the horror of 9/11, he began to rethink his direction in life. A call from an old school friend planted a potent seed, which later led him to a brand-new adventure.

Through his work Nimo shares with us some powerful lessons received from the children, their families, and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi during his time in India. “What does it really mean to serve? To help, to try to be of service, to see where in society we can support or alleviate suffering and be a part of the effort to do that.”

The Rana Choir

The Rana ChoirThe Jewish Arab women’s choir Rana is a Jaffa based choir of twenty Muslim Jewish and Christian women.

The choir’s objective is to provide a space for women’s voices, which regrettably are not heard enough in this region of the world, on all its social and aesthetic meanings.

The Rana Choir received the International Hrant Dink Award in the category of “inspirations”, along with courageous and inspiring people from around the world.

The award is granted every year to those considered as people who work for a world free of discrimination, racism, and violence, who through their initiatives inspire and encourage others to support their cause and ideals.

Shivanii Ray

Shivanii RayShivanii Ray is an International Speaker and Gamification Expert, who uses her worldly experiences to inspire others to live life outside the box and on their own terms. When she was 10, after her family was forced out of the US due to immigration issues, she spent 5 years travelling around the world. Growing up globally, Shivanii was able to learn on her own terms which led her to become a certified NLP Practitioner and a certified Scuba Diver both by the age 12.

The Global Face and Community Champion of FUNancial Freedom, Shivanii now helps kids and teens become financially smart. After realising the standard education system often falls short when teaching children things like financial literacy and mindset tools, she now helps kids and teens fill in the gaps and thrive in these areas.

Shivanii emceed her first event at age 8 for 2,500 people and has since spoken at numerous entrepreneurial events across 4 continents, even sharing the stage with the legendary Les Brown. For her expertise, she has been featured on Good Morning America, NBC, FOX, ABC, and several international newspapers and magazines.

Camerata Romeu

Camerata RomeuThe all-female chamber orchestra, Camerata Romeu, was founded in Havana in 1993 by director Zenaida Romeu, with support from the Pablo Milanés Foundation.  With a core mission to promote the music and musical values of Latin American composers, Camerata Romeu combines a Central European string sound with its original repertoire and performance style to create something which is unique and particular to the Americas.

The orchestra has been involved in many award-winning performances and recordings of works by the best composers from Cuba, Latin America and North America, but it also explores the classical repertoire of the string orchestra, providing a broad-spectrum of repertoire from the Baroque to the Rumba. Camerata Romeu has also provided a valuable opportunity for training and launching dozens of young musicians into the orchestral profession and many are now part of important orchestras in Cuba and all over the world.  In 2020, Camerata Romeu was selected to participate as a headline group at Classical Next.

Since 1994, Camerata Romeu’s home has been in the Minor Basilica of San Francisco of Asís in Old Havana, but in the 25 years since its foundation, it has participated in many international music festivals and numerous concert tours, appearing not only in great venues, but also in the most prestigious universities both in Cuba and Spain, as well as Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil and the United States.

The album Sertoes Veredas which showcases the Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti and which the orchestra recorded on the German ECM label was the first recording for the label which promotes and commercialises music recorded by a Latin American, Cuban and women’s orchestra.   The group has recorded for the Bis and Colibri labels: La Bella Cubana, (Chamber Music Award and Critics Award), Cuba Mia, Dance of the Witches, Tampa Habana Oslo, Raigal, (Cubadisco Award) and Non Divisi as well as a specialist recording of the music of Latin Grammy nominee, Roberto Valera.  With the French label Manana Music, Camerata Romeu recorded Habanera by Gerardo di Giusto (Cubadisco Award) and the group has gained recognition for its recordings of soundtracks for several cartoons and feature films by important filmmakers from Cuba and Mexico.

Lubna Salame

Lubna SalameLubna Salame was born in Haifa and now lives in Kfar Yassif. She is a resident singer with the Nazareth Orchestra.

As a child, she began singing classical Arabic songs with a church choir. She specialized in singing songs of Um Kulthum, Layla Mourad and Yisman. Already on her first concert – at the Israeli Festival 2000 alongside with Sapho and Zehava Ben – she won the audience’s love and appreciation and became a star overnight.

Shades of Yale

Shades of YaleThirty years ago, a group of black students came together at the pre-orientation program at Yale known as Cultural Connections to create a space on the campus of Yale University where their voices - and the music they loved - could be heard. 

Led by Titilayo Ngwenya, Shades has risen to become one of Yale's premiere a cappella groups since the group's inception in 1988. The name in itself stands as a testament to their appreciation of diversity within the group as they celebrate the depth and complexity of the black experience.

As a non-profit co-educational a cappella group with humble roots, Shades has toured both domestically and internationally over the years.

Miriam Toukan

Miriam ToukanMiriam Toukan is a singer from a Palestinian Christian family in I’billin, and an Arab citizen of Israel. She has performed at festivals including the Cyprus Rialto World Music Festival and her project Quartetoukan. She has also participated in marches for peace with other women singers and activists in Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy.

In 2012, she performed an Arabic version of Fun’s song “We Are Young”. From 2013 to the present, she is the leader of Quartetoukan, a musical project that aims to unite cultures and people through music.

Toukan is a member of various movements for the advancement of peace in the Middle East and the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as Combatants for Peace and Women Wage Peace. Toucan participated in several peace marches in various countries with the Women Wage Peace, and sang in Arabic the song "Mother's Prayer" which became the movement's anthem.

Background Art "Love" by ZaHaVa Sherez, Featured artist for the Global Gala

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