LOS ANGELES, CA (WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2011) – Conscious Hip-Hop band, Luminaries (http://luminariesmusic.com/), a Los Angeles-based collective whose music promotes unity, hope and peace announced today that they are headed to Israel and Palestine this weekend in advance of the United Nations vote on statehood for Palestine. The band will perform in the cities of Qalqilya in the West Bank and Kfar Saba in Israel during their trip, and return October 6th.
During this two-week exchange, Luminaries will connect with the citizens of Kfar Saba, Israel & Qalqilya, Palestine and will reflect on their 13-year relationship as sister-cities. The goal is to interact and find ways for person-to-person exchanges to prosper, even when leaders struggle to find a roadmap to normalcy and peace.
“Our message that ‘Peace Worldwide Starts from Inside’ will be no more apparent for Luminaries than on our trip to Israel and Palestine,” said Benjamin Davis from Luminaries. “Our desire for this trip is to go to the region with open minds and hearts, and discover through face to face discussions what the situation on the ground is and what the people, especially the youth, want for their future. We want to share our visions for real peace throughout the world, through individual inner peace and personal responsibility, mixed with forgiveness and non-violent activism.”
The band’s trip to the Middle East began when they accepted an invitation to perform in Israel and Palestine from friends and filmmakers Steven Kalishman & Steven Robitaille, who are in the process of filming the documentary When the People Lead: Citizen Diplomacy in the Holy Land. The film tells the story of the Gainesville/Kfar Saba/Qalqilya Sister City Program (http://www.gnvsistercities.org), initiated by the Gainesville City Commission in 1998. Filming on location in Israel and Palestine, against the historic background of the Arab spring and pending UN General Assembly decision to accept Palestine as a member state, When the People Lead explores the lives of two cities, only a couple of miles apart, that once engaged in active cultural and economic activities. Today, they are separated by the physical and social barriers, which have resulted from failed political leadership.
Luminaries will be part of a delegation flying to Tel Aviv, Israel and then traveling to Qalqilya, Palestine where the Mayor of that town will arrange performances and youth outreach activities for the delegation. The Deputy Minister of Civil Affairs for the Palestinian Authority, Marouf Zahran, will then arrange for the delegation to meet with Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority Salam Fayyad: (http://www.haaretz.com/meta/Tag/Salam Fayyad). Luminaries’ activities on this trip will allow them to perform for and engage the youth in Qalqilya. The delegation (including Luminaries) will then travel to Kfar Saba in Israel, where the Mayor is arranging meetings and activities, and Luminaries will again perform and meet with the youth in that city.
Musically, Luminaries just completed and released on their label Lu Fam Pro (http://lufampro.com/) their full-length debut album “ONE” with guest appearances from Chali 2na, Trevor Hall, Rocky Dawuni, Myka 9, & many more. The cornerstone of Luminaries’ live set is the amazing energy they bring to their live show. Their lyrical message of peace, love, and unity is reminiscent of the golden era of Hip Hop. Fused with a soulful, live band and a funk filled experience, they’ve shared the stage with some of the hottest acts today, including K’Naan, The Glitch Mob, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, Lauren Hill, as well as time-tested vets like The Teacha, KRS-ONE, STS9 and India.Arie. The band’s current single featuring Trevor Hall “Be the Change” is now on YouTube, and the video for “Free Energy” will be on YouTube Oct. 15th. The album “ONE” is available on iTunes now.