17 May 2020

Give Peace a chance

From Pick and Mix, 12:00 pm on 17 May 2020

A showcase from some of the many musicians who actively promote peace. 

In 1972 John Lennon released ‘Imagine’ in which he dreamed of a world with no gods, or possessions, or classes.

Half a century later peace remains a dream, but artists all over the planet work to promote peace; we showcase some of those who go the extra mile for the good of others.

The World Orchestra for Peace was set up in 1995 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations. It’s directed by UNESCO Artist for Peace, Valery Gergiev.  


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace for ten years.  He made his debut in New Zealand in November last year in Christchurch playing Bach’s solo cello suites.  


In the song "Ghafoor's Bus" The Young'uns tell the story of Ghafoor Hussain, who came to the UK from Pakistan and has since driven all over Europe feeding stranded migrants. Ghafoor has set up his bus as a mobile kitchen so he can cook for hungry migrants wherever he goes. 


UNESCO Artist for Peace Brazilian guitarist Gilberto Gil has spent the best part of his life working to save the hundreds of languages spoken across Brazil. 


Jordi Savall and his ensemble have several projects underway for UNESCO: “The Roads of Slavery” with performers from across the slave route to recreate music of Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  And another project working with musician refugees. Dismayed by the flood of refugees risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean, he released Mare Nostrum with a group of players from both sides of the Middle Sea (its early name) and says the music they share transcends any artificial border. 


The Highwomen are a quartet of female country singers who are challenging the domination of men in their industry: Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, and Amanda Shires are taking on the men at their own game and winning.


Danilo Pérez is another UNESCO Artist for Peace. He organises free music programmes for children living in extreme poverty in Panama.


Music Details: 

LENNON: Imagine - John Lennon (PARLOPHONE 746641)
MENDELSSOHN: Scherzo, from A Midsummer Night's Dream - World Orch for Peace, Valery Gergiev (Philips 475 6937)
BRUBECK: Concordia - Yo-Yo Ma & Friends (Sony Classical 724414)
BRUBECK: Unsquare dance - Dave Brubeck (COLUMBIA 464668)
COONEY: Ghafoor’s Bus - The Young’uns (Hereteu Records YNGS17)
GILBERTO GIL: Preciso Aprender a Só Ser - Gilberto Gil (DRG 711618)
TRAD: Istenem, Istenem - Márta Sebestyén (HANNIBAL 571412)
TRAD: Szombateste Búcsúztató - Márta Sebestyén (HANNIBAL 571412)
TRAD: Saltarello - Jordi Savall Hesperion XX1 (Alia Vox AVSA 9888)
TRAD: Mireu el nostre mar - Jordi Savall Hesperion XX1 (Alia Vox AVSA 9888)
PÉREZ: Across the Crystal Sea - Danilo Pérez (EMARCY 648210)