Children of the Stone / Dal’ouna Ensemble Concert & Book Tour

Children of the Stone/DAL’OUNA ENSEMBLE
U.S. Concert & Book Tour
Featuring Palestinian musician/composer RAMZI ABUREDWAN
with special guest vocalist LINA SLEIBI
and award-winning author and journalist SANDY TOLAN
* * * * *

Sunday March.11.2018 at 6:00 PM

Coral Springs High School
7201 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

Purchase your ticket now:

2017 marked the 100th anniversary of Palestine’s struggle and the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Golan Heights.
These anniversaries – of Britain’s 1917 Balfour Declaration, and the end of the
1967 “Six Day War” – offer an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the Palestinian struggle to end occupation
and strive for freedom and nationhood.
The U.S. National CHILDREN OF THE STONE/DAL’OUNA concert and book tour will mark these anniversaries
through a powerful combination of music and literature. The tour will celebrate Palestinian musician
and educator Ramzi Aburedwan and his belief in the power of music and culture to transform lives and
resist oppression.
It will also feature Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land (Bloomsbury, April
2015/paperback 2016) by Sandy Tolan, author of the international bestseller, The Lemon Tree.

Children of the Stone tells the dramatic story of Ramzi Aburedwan’s life growing up in an occupied Palestinian
refugee camp and his transformation from a stone throwing youth of the first intifada, to a talented musician
studying at the Edward Said Palestine National Academy of Music and a French Conservatory and his
final return to Palestine to realize his life’s dream of founding a music school, Al-Kamandjati that has centers
in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. He views Al-Kamandjati and related projects with international
musicians as a combination of safe haven, creative resistance, and trauma therapy for the least fortunate
Palestinian children, many living in refugee camps.
Featured in concert will be the powerful music of Ramzi Aburedwan and his Arabic-French Dal’Ouna Ensemble:
a dynamic fusion of Palestinian folk, classical, jazz and world music. Ensemble members include
renowned composer, violist and buzouk player Ramzi Aburedwan and percussionist Tareq Rantisi from
Palestine, oud player Ziad Ben Youssef from Tunisia, Edwin Buger from Yugoslavia on accordion, and special
guest vocalist Lina Sleibi from Palestine, Sandy Tolan will do readings from his book, Children of the
Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land.
Yo-Yo Ma had this to say about Sandy Tolan’s book:
“In a world where so much popular fiction depicts life in a dystopian world, it is refreshing to have this nonfiction
account that reflects one individual’s belief in the power of music and culture to transform lives. Congratulations
to Sandy Tolan for bringing us the story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, his philosophy and his personal
mission to make a difference. His story is proof of the famous words of Margaret Mead –‘Never doubt that
a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’”.

DAL’OUNA ENSEMBLE is named after a festive Palestinian music genre. Through its music, the ensemble
expresses the hopes of a people who love to laugh and sing and who seek peace and freedom. The ensemble’s
repertoire extends from Egypt to Andalusia, passing through various regions and traditions of the
Middle East, and adding medieval and jazz accents to a musical confluence of East and West. On their musical
journey, Ramzi Aburedwan and Dal’Ouna bring us into their world, their music, their poetry and traditions.
They combine traditional Arab instruments including the bouzuk, the oud, and oriental percussion
with viola and accordion. The repertoire ranges from instrumental to traditional poetic genres that focus
on love, freedom, and nature. Dal’Ouna is a story of shared experiences, a refuge where borders don’t apply,
and a message of hope for its members and audiences.
Touring with Dal’Ouna Ensemble in March 2018 are violist and bouzuk player Ramzi Aburedwan and percussionist
Tareq Rantisi from Palestine, oud player Ziad Ben Youssef from Tunisia, accordion virtuoso
Edwin Buger from France (Yugoslavian born), with special guest vocalist Lina Sleibi from Palestine.

* * * * *RAMZI ABUREDWAN grew up in the Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah, where his family took
refuge after being driven out of their home in Palestine in 1948. The violence of the first Palestinian intifada
(1987-1993) marked Ramzi’s childhood and adolescence. At age 16, Ramzi participated in a musical
workshop, which proved to be a life-changing experience. From 1996 to 1998 he studied at the Edward
Said National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah. In 1998-2005, Ramzi received a scholarship to study
viola at the National Regional Conservatory of Angers (France). Ramzi graduated with a DEM in viola, and
chamber music. At the French conservatory, Ramzi met up with other students with whom he created the
Dal’Ouna Ensemble in 2000. Today Ramzi splits his career amongst many projects. He is concert performer,
bandleader of Dal’Ouna, musical director, composer and arranger for the Palestine National Arabic
Music Ensemble, and viola soloist performing Western classical music with chamber music ensembles
and orchestras throughout the Middle East and Europe. Ramzi’s deep engagement with Palestinian
youth led him to realize a lifelong dream in 2005: the creation of the Al Kamandjati Association. Al
Kamandjati’s mission is to bring musical education to Palestinian children and, in particular, to those who
are most vulnerable – the children of the refugee camps. Al Kamandjati teaches more than 500 children
per year from the refugee camps of Al Amari, Jalazon, Tulkarm and Qalandia, in the village of Deir
Ghassana, and the cities of Ramallah, Jenin, Gaza City and Hebron in Palestine. In Lebanon, Al Kamandjâti
runs music schools in the refugee camps of Bourj el Barajneh and Shatila.

* * * * *Lina Sleibi is a Palestinian artist who has loved music and singing since a very young age,
and has considered them a way for expressing herself. She aspires to convey messages – both artistic
and humanitarian – through her voice, songs, and the events she participates in. Her interests
are broad and include singing, dancing, modeling, acting, photography, presenting, travelling and
sports. In 2014, Lina got her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing. This has
equipped her with the creative and managerial skills needed to manage her musical productions
and team. She participated in several local, regional and international music projects and concerts.

* * * * *TAREQ RANTISI was born in Jerusalem, Palestine. Self-taught, he began his career playing Middle-
Eastern percussion and has performed in concerts and music festivals throughout the Arab world and Europe.
In 2008, Tareq received the Al-Qattan Foundation Music Scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee
College of Music in the US, receiving a degree in Percussion Performance and graduating with honors, covering
jazz to Afro-Cuban to Carnatic Indian to Brazilian and more. He has performed with Paul Winter, Simon
Shaheen, Aaron Goldberg, Srinivas Krishnan, Victor Mendoza, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Bruno Råberg,
Javier Limón, Pepe de Lucía, Glen Velez and many other virtuosic musicians, composers and ensembles.
Tareq has also developed a body of educational work, offering master classes, workshops and private lessons
throughout the world in collaboration with Arabic Music Retreat, Brandeis University, The Center for
Arabic Culture, NAFDA, The Gaza Music School, Qattan Foundation, Al Kamandjâti Association, Kufiyyeh
Center of Music, and the Yamaha Music School.

* * * * *ZIAD BEN YOUSSEF’s passion for the oud began in his native Tunisia, encouraged by some local
masters who introduced him to the world of “Eastern Maqam”, the main foundation of oriental music with
roots in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Armenian traditions. His musical path was forged with the Bashir
brothers, Ali Sriti, Farid Ghosn, Anouar Brahem, Saliha, Manolo Sanlucar, Sabicas and many others. Ziad
continues to pursue his goal of expanding the boundaries of this instrument vis à vis improvisation and exploration
of diverse musical traditions, including Flamenco, Eastern European, jazz and other contemporary
music. Ziad has ventured into the world of theater and has participated in numerous projects such as
“The Thousand and One Nights “with English director Tim Supple, poetry performances, and film soundtracks:
“Happiness” (Alexander Medvidkine), “Kedaba” (ElHachmia Didi Alaoui), “ADN, Ame de la terre”
(Thierry Obadia), and “Tomb of the Lovers” performed live at the Louvre Auditorium.

* * * * *EDWIN BUGER, renowned accordionist and multi-instrumentalist from France and born in Yugoslavia,
discovered his love of music early on, thanks to his father who plays guitar and sings. At age 12 he
began to perform at weddings, and at 16 he played guitar and accordion for dances with numerous bands
in Bavaria where his parents had settled. In his late teens, Edwin played in the rock band “Sauerkirsch” and
soon thereafter took up the saxophone and performed in the French Legion marching band for five years
before he was sent to the military conservatory in Versailles. He later settled down in Toulouse and played
dance music in the villages in the Pyrénées region. His next move was to Bordeaux where he was introduced
to the music of Madagascar and Martinique, French gypsy jazz, and a broad range of Arab and African
traditions. He released his first jazz album in 2010 featuring Ziad Ben Youssef on Oud and Thierry
Lujan on guitar. When he’s not touring and performing, he is the church organist in his home community.
His musical horizons are forever expanding.

* * * * *SANDY TOLAN is author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, Heart of the Middle East, which has sold
more than 250,000 copies in six languages, and his new book, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a
Hard Land. He has reported from more than 35 countries, mostly in Latin America and the Middle East,
written for more than 40 newspapers and magazines, and produced hundreds of documentaries and features
for NPR and Public Radio International. His work has focused on the intersection of land conflicts, racial
and ethnic identity, natural resources, and the global economy. He is a co-founder of Homelands Productions,
an independent production company focusing on documentary work for public radio. Sandy has
garnered more than 25 national and international journalism awards. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard
and an I.F. Stone Fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley, where he taught from 2000-
2007. Currently he is Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at
the University of Southern California.
Praise for Sandy Tolan’s
CHILDREN of the STONE: The Power of Music in a Hard Land
“In 1988, a photograph of an eight-year-old Palestinian boy poised to throw a stone became a widely reproduced
symbol of the first Palestinian intifada. This eye-opening book from Tolan (The Lemon Tree) follows that boy,
Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, through his dramatic young adulthood…Tolan’s exhaustive research and journalistic
attention to detail shine through every page of this sweeping chronicle.”
—Publisher’s Weekly
“Children of the Stone is alive with compassion, hope, and great inspiration. It is not necessary to believe in music’s
power to defeat evil in order to be enchanted by this wonderful story.”
—Tom Segev, author of One Palestine, Complete
“Sandy Tolan, author of the celebrated Lemon Tree, has produced another gem on what is happening under the
surface in Palestine. This time the theme is the liberating potential of music. The book contains enthralling
biographical trajectories of ordinary people fighting against the odds, like Ramzi the violist, Suhail the
musical composer, Mariam the singer, Suraida the activist, who use music as an instrument of resistance and survival
under military rule. Written in the style of investigative journalism, the book is riveting and uplifting, without
skirting issues of contestation and controversy.”
—Salim Tamari, Director, Institute of Palestine Studies, Georgetown University
“Somewhere amidst the separation barriers and the countless checkpoints, the refugee camps and the demolished
homes, the fruitless negotiations and endless conflict, there is a people yearning for a life of dignity and normalcy.
You won’t see them on TV or in many newspapers. But you will find them in The Children of Stone, Sandy Tolan’s
moving account of the dispossessed children of Palestine, and the transformative power that music has had
in giving them meaning and reason for hope.”
—Reza Aslan, author of #1 New York Times bestseller
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
“A resolute, heart-rending story of real change and possibility in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse.”
–Kirkus Reviews
“A moving tale of music’s power in Palestine… Gripping… Tolan is a scrupulous craftsman [who does] the hard
work of getting the story right.”
–Los Angeles Times
Praise for Children of the Stone
“Eye-opening . . . Tolan’s exhaustive research and journalistic attention to detail shine through
every page of this sweeping chronicle.” —Publishers Weekly
“Not only about music’s ability to change an individual’s life, this moving book also shows how
it can serve to bridge the gap between two sides that remain at odds.”—Library Journal, “Best Books of 2015”
“A complex report on the nuances of the conflict and the possible future of a Palestinian
state—as explained through the attempts of Ramzi Aburedwan and others to play music. By following Ramzi’s
journey from stone-throwing child to accomplished musician, Tolan has helped to explain the struggle and pain of
being Palestinian.” —St. Louis Dispatch
“A symphony of international locations, big ideas and human dramas . . . Tolan shows a
novelist’s preoccupation with empathy in portraying two conflicting worlds: music’s timeless idealism and occupation’s
brutal realities. What emerges is a deeply moving parable of struggle and mastery—over an instrument,
over painful injustice and ultimately over self.” —Newsweek
“[A]mbitious . . . Tolan excels as a dogged reporter, and his musical descriptions amplify his
“Children of the Stone is a nuanced, intelligent, in-depth discussion not only of Aburedwan’s
life, but of the many complex issues his work raises… I would highly recommend to those
grappling with the thorny issue of the relationship between art and conflict. [It] is a rare, detailed
and intimate portrait of a working-class Palestinian from the occupied West Bank, grappling with
poverty and class.” —Electronic Intifada

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