The Pakistan America Peace Through Music Project is a Musical Journey to Peace, Freedom and Understanding (A Collaboration of The Sonic Peace Makers and SHINE HUMANITY)
Mention Pakistan today and what comes to the minds of most Americans is terrorism, poverty, and hopelessness. That’s all they see in the news. But Pakistan also has one of The World’s most diverse and rich cultures, equaled only by its spectacular natural beauty as home to part of Kashmir, the Khyber Pass and high mountain peaks like K2. Once upon a time in the not so distant past, Texan gun enthusiasts brought their prized antique revolvers to Peshawar’s gun smiths to make copies, actor Robert DeNiro posed for pictures with restaurant owners while vacationing in Chitral, and Mick Jagger tested his dance skills with Lahore’s most well-known Mujra dancers. And many of Pakistan’s greatest musicians and singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan regularly collaborated with their counterparts in Europe and America such as Peter Gabriel and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
Two decades ago, America’s leaders failed to uphold our principles and fulfill a moral obligation to help rebuild Afghanistan and help Pakistan with the painful aftermath of the Soviet-Afghan war, which included millions of Afghan refugees who still live in Pakistan. In stark contrast, America helped rebuild its enemies Germany and Japan after WWII, but inexplicably abandoned its friends after the war in Afghanistan, a key factor in allowing extremists to begin their destructive swarm across Afghanistan and Pakistan’s western frontier and become a grave threat to the security and stability of the entire world. But today, while the wounds are deep and the challenges are great, the forces of light and sonic harmony are again on the ascendance.
Pakistan today is home not just to 11 music video channels and has one of the most innovative and vibrant music scenes anywhere in the world. A country that has produced some of the greatest sitar and tabla players is today home of some of the finest singers, guitar shredders and drummers. Music pioneers like Junoon, the godfathers of Sufi Rock, are joined by Qawwali rockers like Mekaal Hasan and Aaroh, indie projects like Peshawar’s Sajid and Zeeshan, and Heavy Metal innovators like Akash and Karavan. In recent years Atif Aslam has become the most successful Pop singer in all of South Asia with a growing following world-wide.
The Pakistan America Peace Through Music Project was inspired by the work of Greg Mortenson (author of the bestseller Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools) and is based, among other things, on world music pioneer Manu Dibango’s declaration that musicians are all from the same tribe regardless of their race, nationality or religion and John Coltrane’s belief in the power of music to spread peace and harmony.
Building on the millennia-long tradition of musical and cultural exchange in Pakistan and South and Central Asia more broadly, we will bring a group of leading musicians from the U.S. to Pakistan led by guitarist/producer Lanny Cordola (House of Lords, Giuffria, The Beach Boys), drummer/producer Matt Sorum (Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver), singer/guitarist Todd Shea and many others for a month long musical caravan throughout the country, creating and performing with some of Pakistan’s most well known, talented and creative artists such as Atif Aslam, Shehzad Roy, Strings, Arieb Azhar, Abda Parveen, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Rustam Fateh Ali Khan, Beo Rana Zafar and celebrated record producer Rohail Hyatt (Vital Signs, Coke Studio).
The inspiring poetry of Allama Iqbal and other revered poets will be prominently featured as an artistic and cultural base for the musical collaboration. Later on in the year, the Pakistani musicians will come to the U.S. for performances and events joined by their American comrades (including members of Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.), which will also include time for more song writing and recording. Both the Pakistani and American legs of the gathering will be filmed for a documentary. The music and film will then be completed and released for sale on CDs & DVDs.
The project’s goals will be to bring Americans and Pakistanis closer together by erasing misconceptions and raising awareness of the diversity and beauty of Pakistan and its people, ultimately revealing the commonalities between Pakistani/Muslim and American cultures, to show Americans the Pakistan they never see in the mainstream media and to support Pakistan’s courageous artistic community, as well as raise funds and awareness to help establish and equip music schools and fund innovative health and education projects across Pakistan and Afghanistan. Once the initial project has been released, the music will continue with a series of collaborations with musicians and artists from all over the world to bring people together and help people in need.
Musical fusion and celebration of diverse cultures will erase misconceptions and raise funding which will lead to a lasting positive effect on vulnerable children in developing nations, and help create a better, safer world for all Humanity
“Music has incredible power to inspire and energize Human Beings to bridge divides and create a better world”.
– Todd Shea, Chief Operating Officer
“Peace Through Music DVD featuring members of Guns n Roses, Lanny Cordola, Atif Aslam, Shehzad Roy, Strings, Rohail Hayat, Arieb Azhar, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Todd Shea & Many More!
Guitaristan: Where Musicians and Music Lovers Meet To Create A Better World.
Guitaristan was conceived by accomplished rock guitarist Lanny Cordola (The Beach Boys, House of Lords, Guffria and studio guitarist for hundreds of top recording artists) and drummer Matt Sorum (Guns n Roses, Velvet Revolver) to build cultural bridges of peace and understanding between the peoples of Pakistan, Afghanistan and America through music. Famous guitarists and recording artists from America and Pakistan will be performing their music together and promoting events to raise awareness and funds to address the needs of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Guitaristan Mission:
* Engage in wholesome, family oriented creative and artistic projects that utilize music to bring people together and wash away misconceptions.
* Provide funding to health and education projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
* Provide guitars and lessons to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan who wish to learn about music.
* Be respectful and mindful at all times of Islamic principles which guide the ways which music, musical instruments and social gatherings are permissible as long as the intentions are pure and in the cause of good.
The Sonic Peacemakers Music & Film Project:
The Musical Peace Project features Atif Aslam, Adil Omar, Shehzad Roy, Slash, members of Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Cypress Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. This is all very exciting and for a good cause.
Adil will be rapping with Cypress Hill and other BIG surprise special guest on the Sonic Peacemakers Music and Film Project that we’re doing with some of the best Pakistani and American recording artists, says Todd Shea.
About Todd Shea:
Todd Shea, a singer/songwriter and guitarist by profession in USA, a social worker and a humanitarian in Pakistan. He always used his music to perform humanitarian work and support charitable causes. He came to volunteer in Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake, a disaster that killed 80,000 people. Shea established frills charity hospital in Kashmir called CDRS, or Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services, which provides quality healthcare services to the people in the remote and earthquake-affected areas in northwest Pakistan. CDRS’ efforts are concentrated in Chikar, one of Pakistan’s poorest and most remote villages located about 25 miles from the Indian border with a population of about 150,000 people. He doesn’t have a college degree or a medical background, but told the Times, I’m certainly not the most qualified person to take on the task of building in this area at least a revolutionary healthcare system, but I’m the one who’s here.
A musician prior to his time in Pakistan, Shea indicated that he once suffered from addiction issues. Now however, he decided to get addicted to something that was good for other people. In fact, Shea uses music to raise awareness about CDRS and their efforts, at one point performing at MTV’s studios in Karachi with a Pakistani musician. CDRS now runs on $170,000 a year and served over 100,000 patients in 2008.
Todd Shea’s Message About The Project:
The project will promote peace and understanding through musical collaborations and a documentary film that will not only introduce America and the World to the great musicians and poets of Pakistan as they perform and create with some of America’s greatest musicians, but more importantly, will showcase all the wonderful attributes of Pakistan, its People and its rich culture that most Americans never see. Then, with a new perspective on Pakistan, we believe that everyday Americans will begin supporting projects which effectively bring help directly to Pakistan’s most vulnerable families and communities. After the recording session, Atif Aslam and producer Lanny Cordola met with prominent members of the Southern California Pakistani American Community at the home of Pervaiz and Almas Lodhie to introduce the project and its goals. Promoting organizations that are doing great Humanitarian work in Pakistan such as Developments In Literacy, Zindagi Trust, Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute and many others, this project aims to highlight the efforts of The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) to form partnerships with all governmental and non-governmental organizations, large and small, to work together towards ensuring that Pakistan meets the UN’s Millennium Development Goals of minimun 85% Basic Literacy by 2015.
There are significant costs associated with such a large undertaking, so we need your help to raise the funding needed to pay for the project’s production, recording, filming, mass duplication, marketing and travel expenses. Please give generously, your contributions are tax-deductible and represent an important investment in Pakistan. Thanks to Air Blue for becoming our first sponsor, donating the flights for the The Sonic Peacemakers travel in Pakistan this summer. Philanthropist Pervaiz Lodhie, Author Ethan Casey, Businessman Amin Hashwani and Professor Mark Levine are the official Ambassadors for the Sonic Peacemakers. Please note that all musicians and recording artists who are contributing their time and talents to this project are doing so completely free of charge.
Shine Humanity / CDRS / Sonic Peacemakers
Watch Todd Shea performing Live with Sarmad Ghafoor: