Bridges Made of Music

This week on Interfaith Voices:


The Growing Edge

Folksinger Carrie Newcomer and best-selling author Parker Palmer explain why they founded “The Growing Edge,” a project that aims to help people become their better selves and to work toward the common good. With their music, books, poetry, online conversations and in-person gatherings, Newcomer and Palmer invite audiences to live out their ideals concretely. Music, they say, is one of the most powerful tools we have to challege ourselves and connect with others. Folk songs can help gird us for this tough work, Carrie says. And she explains why “kumbaya” is a serious idea and piece of music too often dismissed as naively optimistic.

Carrie Newcomer is a folk singer and recently recently a new album, Point of Arrival

Parker Palmer is a writer and teacher whose newest book is On The Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity & Getting Old

Newcomer and Palmer together founded The Growing Edge.


Qawwali: An Islamic Musical Tradition Reaches New Audiences

Sonny, who leads a Texas-based qawwali group, prefers to use his first name only, because he wants audiences to focus on the music, not his religious affiliation. He explains that qawwali began in South Asia more than 700 years ago and is rooted in the poetry of Sufism, a mystical approach to Islam. Sonny’s band, however, Riyaaz Qawwali, draws on many South Asian traditions and languages in its lyrics and rhythms. The band’s fan base is growing increasingly diverse, with many saying they don’t need to understand the words to appreciate what Sonny calls “South Asian gospel music.”

Sonny, artistic director of Riyaaz Qawwali




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