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Experience PULSE DC! Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Experience PULSE DC! Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King

Multi-cultural concert to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is pleased to present a PULSE DC concert Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King on Saturday, August 10, 2013, from 8:00 to 10:00 PM at the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial. The event is free and open to the public.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the candlelight program will feature sacred classical music, time-honored Sri-Lankan and Indian Sacred Songs, traditional hymns and African-American gospel songs.

Headlining the concert will be internationally-recognized Sri Lankan concert pianist and music director Soundarie David Rodrigo. Performers include regional artists Kumar Das and Abhik Mukherjee, Cees, Christylez Bacon and Nistha Raj, Indian artists Vidya and Vandana Iyer, the Washington, DC based chorale Nolan Williams, Jr. and the Voices of Inspiration, and Grammy Award Winner Pastor Donnie McClurkin. Hosting the evening will be Jackie Gales Webb, award-winning producer and host of the Sunday Afternoon Gospel music program on 96.3 WHUR.

"The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities celebrates and promotes cultural expression from around the world," said Judith Terra, Chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King honors two peace and justice leaders through the arts and celebrates their legacies and contributions to the world"

"Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King honors a significant event and also the District as home to one of the most historic civil rights demonstrations in our nation's history," said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. "As the 50th anniversary celebrations kick off, the Commission will showcase some of the finest in international and local talent."

The Honorable Nirumpama Rao, Ambassador of India to the United States, explains the historical significance of this evening, "The spirit of the peoples of India and the United States is joined by the inspirational call of freedom, peace and non violence.  It is a powerful bond that unites us and we should forever hold it sacred in our thoughts and deeds.

PULSE DC Reflections on Peace from Gandhi to King is sponsored by DCCAH, NEWorks Productions; DESHO Productions; The Embassy of India; and Her Excellency Nirupama Rao, Ambassador of India to the United States.   


Soundarie David Rodrigo is an internationally celebrated concert pianist.  A product of the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, David Rodrigo is also founder and music director of Sri Lanka's premiere female ensemble, 'Soul Sounds,' the first choir in Sri Lanka to perform and win awards internationally over the last four years with acclaimed performances in India, Australia, China, Kuwait, Austria, France, Malaysia and the United States.  She is the recipient of several awards, including the Bunka (Cultural) Award presented by the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund in recognition of her significant contribution to culture through music. 

Vidya and Vandana started to learn classical Indian music at a very young age with D.K. Nagarajan, brother of D.K. Pattammal. Under his teaching and guidance, their passion for music grew throughout the years.  It all began when they recorded Nee Nenaindal as a fun project with clarinetist and composer, Shankar Tucker, which started to gain attention on YouTube. They released two more songs with Shankar in Tamil, Munbe Va and Ashai Mugam. Their videos became so popular that now they travel with Shankar Tucker to perform in various prestigious venues. They have performed in India, The Netherlands and many cities around the US. They were also invited to perform at the White House Diwali event.

Nolan Williams, Jr. and the Voices of Inspiration (100 voice choir) Since their debut on the international stage in 2007, performing four major concerts for Italy's celebrated Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, Voices of Inspiration (VOI) has emerged as one of the most sought-after choral aggregations specializing in African-American sacred music. Theirs is a fresh sound punctuated by their ability to move effortlessly from anthems to spirituals, from Americana to gospel songs. Organized and directed by Nolan Williams, Jr., American songwriter, musicologist and producer, VOI has been featured in performance at the White House, the United States Supreme Court, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Theatre. VOI has also performed twice in full concert with the National Symphony Orchestra.