Rick Recht and Hassan Hakmoun will perform in concert


Through a combination of Gnawa sacred music and Jewish rock, Rick Recht and Hassan Hakmoun will work to further the cause of global healing in a Faces of Love Concert, sponsored by Gitana Productions.

“It’s a wonderful way to bring together people from the community to celebrate our differences,” Recht said, “particularly in the Muslim and Jewish communities, where the need for healing is so important right now.”

Recht, who was born and raised in St. Louis, performs throughout the country, and said for him the performance is an extension of the Tear Down the Walls initiative, which was developed with support from the Anti-Defamation League to educate teens and families about racism, discrimination, and prejudice, and offer ways to create a safer and more welcoming environment for all people.

Hakmoun, who performs Gnawa music — a style of Moroccan devotional music performed in all-night healing-trance ceremonies, came to America in 1987 and formed a Gnawa-rock fusion band, Zahar.

Recht described Hakmoun as “a renowned star.”

“He’s done some really amazing things in world music,” Recht said, “and he is very passionate about social justice and love being a path and a foundation for communication, as I am … We are going to hear that kind of commonality in the Sheldon Theatre.”

Cecilia Nadal, president of the board of directors of Gitana Productions, Inc., founded the not-for-profit organization in 1996 with the stated mission to foster cross-cultural awareness and appreciation by experiencing the art of another culture and engaging the community in the planning of these events.

Nadal said the concert is an “excellent opportunity to hear music that comes from Morocco, as well as music that represents Jewish rock.”

“The concert has a double meaning,” she said. “It has the meaning of the power of music, which is extraordinary, but it also exemplifies people coming together around music, regardless of religion … it is more than just a concert, it is a place where there can be harmony with people who truly believe in tolerance.”

Nadal said she is thrilled “to say that tolerance is alive and well.”

“Yes, we have problems in this town, but we have a lot of good things, and we are just happy to be able to amplify the good things that are going on.”

Faces of Love is sponsored by the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, Elsevier, and the Employees Community Fund of Boeing St. Louis.

The concert will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall. A pre-concert reception featuring authentic Muslim and Jewish cuisine will begin at 7 p.m. for VIP ticket holders.

Concert tickets are $30, and VIP tickets are $47. Discounts are available for senior citizens, students, and groups.

For more information call Gitana Productions at 314-721-6556, or visit www.gitana-inc.org. You can also visit www.rickrecht.com or www.teardownthewalls.org for more information about Recht, or www.hassanhakmoun.com for more information about Hakmoun.

To purchase tickets call Metrotix at 314-543-1111.

Keren Douek is an assistant editor and can be reached at [email protected]