They sing songs of longing for a home. They dance dances about desperate journeys from refugee camps and poverty. Girls who fled hell on Earth now inspire the world with angelic voices. On June 29th, these performers and more will share their talents and stories at the One Journey Festival, Washington, DC’s most unique summer celebration, on the grounds of the National Cathedral. The festival is free and open to the public.
“The One Journey team has assembled an amazing lineup of singers, musicians, dancers, and speakers for the mainstage,” says festival co-chair Wendy Chan. “They are refugees and immigrants from countries around the world. For many, their journeys and the hardships they have survived are the heart and soul of their creative lives.”
Three stages of packed performance will entertain and inspire festival goers from 11am to 6pm on June 29th. More than 5,000 attendees are expected.
One Journey Festival – Program Highlights
– Jorge Glem & César Orozco – Grammy-nominated cuatro player, Jorge Glem, joins forces with Cuban/Venezuelan pianist, composer, César Orozco, for their special fusion of traditional Latin music and modern jazz.
– Leftist – “The U.N. of hip-hop.” Hailing from Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, India, and Washington DC, Leftist delivers hip-hop, alternative rock and soul wrapped up into one.
– Abraham Mwinda – “Inspired.” This Congolese-born singer, songwriter, and rapper was raised in a Kenyan refugee camp, and shares his life experiences through powerfully compelling songs.
– Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus – Their soul-stirring songs help restart young lives. This 23-strong, all-girls choir is made up of former refugees from around the globe.
– Cheick Hamala Diabate – A master of the n’goni, a West African lute and cousin of the banjo, Diabate merges his “griot” roots in Mali with American sounds.
– Batalá Washington – Samba-reggae rhythms from this all-woman Afro-Brazilian band, “empowering women through drumming.”
– The Tributary Project – Celebrating connection through music, Jaja, Joseck, Meera, and Rob blend the music of their roots in the Congo, Kenya, Mali, India and the Island of Brooklyn.
– Megumi Saruhashi – From Carnegie Hall to refugee camps in the middle east, Brooklyn-based Japanese violinist and composer, Megumi, has delivered her music to people of all circumstances around the globe.
– Sokeo Ros – Celebrated hip-hop dancer, director, teacher, born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand. His many award-winning theater pieces include the autobiographical From Refugee Camp to Project.
– Maru Montero Dance Company – Washington, DC’s premier Latin dance company, featuring traditional folk dance and modern dance.
– Hussein Smko – Battery Dance spotted this self-taught dancer/choreographer from Iraq over social media. A survivor of five wars, Smko was the first recipient of the Adel -Euro Campaign for Dancers Seeking Refuge.
– Leila Mire Dance – Performer, choreographer, writer, educator, and now a company member of ClancyWorks dance company. Mire taught dance as physical therapy in Haiti.
– Emi Mahmoud – Refugee from Sudan, World Poetry Slam Champion, UN Goodwill Ambassador, and tireless advocate for refugees. “When your very existence is an act of defiance, live.”
– Jay Abdo – A huge movie and TV star in the Middle East, Abdo fled Syria as a refugee, now he’s rebuilding his career in movies with Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman.
– Karagoz Shadow Theater – Traditional Turkish shadow puppetry. Broadway-bound, Karagoz brings the magic of the “dream curtain” to the world.
Convergence Theatre – Powerful vignettes from “A New Nation” amplify the voices of immigrants and refugees to “challenge fear and strengthen our sense of home.”
Many of the mainstage performers will share their stories with Festival-goers on the One Journey
Storytelling Stage. Several styles of dance will be taught throughout the day on the Studio Stage.
One Journey is a grassroots alliance working to counter anti-refugee sentiment by shifting the narrative about refugees worldwide. We fight hate and fear by celebrating the talents and contributions of newcomers, reminding America of its own immigrant roots, and connecting the public to organizations on the front lines of actively supporting refugees. We strive to build enduring allies for refugees and use cultural and technological tools to facilitate human connections between refugees and their host communities.