Daniel Pearl Judea Pearl
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Musicians all over Denton will be dedicating concerts in October to the memory of the slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Pearl was the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002. The October concerts are part of a global effort called Daniel Pearl World Music Days.
World Music Days started as a way for family and friends to celebrate Pearl’s birthday. The journalist was a classically trained violinist who loved bluegrass and jazz. He used his playing to help connect with the different people he reported on. The concerts have spread as a way for music to cross political and cultural boundaries. Judea Pearl, Daniel’s father and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation:
PEARL: We are the bridge builders. We are the journalists and the musicians, people of the laptop and the fiddle, that’s the image I would like to pose. We are the carrier of the laptops and the fiddles.
Last year saw 43 countries offering 537 World Music concerts. Performers included Herbie Hancock, Ravi Shankar and the Guarneri String Quartet. This year, some 1000 concerts are expected around the world. REM’s Nokia concert on Oct. 24 with the Old 97’s is one. In Denton, performances will be offered by the Greater Denton Arts Council and nightclubs such as Dan’s Silverleaf. On its own, the University of North Texas College of Music will present more than 100 student and faculty concerts, including the debut of David Itkin as the new conductor of the UNT Symphony Orchestra.
Campus events will also feature screenings of the film, A Mighty Heart, a biography of Pearl starring Angelina Jolie, and the documentary, The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl. A pioneer in artificial intelligence and co-editor of the book I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl (winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award for Anthologies), Judea Pearl himself will speak on campus Oct. 20.
PEARL: “We have many campuses participating but none of them dedicating so many events. We really appreciate it.”