Julia Katarina ~ Founder ~ Mezzo-soprano, cellist and oud player
Julia is an English German mezzo-soprano, oud player & cellist who taught music for nearly four years in Palestine. She taught singing, both Western classical repertoire & Arabic song, cello & music theory & sang in church concerts. Previously she co-founded & toured with a chamber opera company in Britain, singing the title role in a staged production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice. Julia has completed 3 opera courses, including a Diploma at Birkbeck College, University of London. More recently, she has been playing Persian, Arabic & African music & accompanying herself & other singers on oud and cello. She plays & sings at arts & charity events, Sufi dhikrs & concerts for refugees, alternating between instruments, cultures & repertoires. Julia completed an MSc in Applied Music Psychology at Roehampton University, where she gave many recitals & performed a title role in their first opera production. In January she started Music with Refugees, giving concerts for refugee communities in England & Germany.
Liz Meadows ~ Co-founder ~ Vocalist and guitarist
Liz plays guitar and cello and has performed and sung in many varied bands, choirs and musical ensembles, from punk bands to string quartets, traditional folk to all girl acapella groups for nearly 40 years. She is a very adaptable performer. She worked for a number of years with excluded and vulnerable young people, many in care, from across Devon, teaching music and facilitating song-writing as a means of self-expression in working through their trauma, and to raise self-esteem and bring joy. These skills as well as her fantastic sense of humour and unbounded optimism will be an asset to this project.
We first collaborated together, successfully bringing music to refugees as part of ‘Embracing Refugees’ and Beyond Borders Totnes and District’s Refugee Integration programme. We make a strong team, complement each other well and are eager to offer some peace and beauty and share our love for humanity through our music.
Ruth Leber ~ Piano and voice ~ Germany
Ruth is a brilliant pianist and a wonderful accompanist. Her fine sensitivity and profound empathy has enabled her to work as a music therapist as well as informing her artistic work.
Tobias Bülow ~ Flutes and percussion ~ Germany
Tobi is a multi-instrumentalist trained in European and Indian classical traditions, who also teaches percussion instrument building and organises and performs in many intercultural musical events and festivals. For more information, please visit his website
Ahmad Makhzoum ~ Voice ~ UK
This singing chef wasted no time after arriving in the UK unexpectedly in 2016, having lost everything in Aleppo, and founded Aleppo Supper Club, preparing and serving delicious, fresh and beautiful Syrian food at special occasions in a wide variety of settings from dinner parties and charity events to the House of Lords, often providing live music accompaniment
Lama Khayer ~ Voice ~ UK
I come from a media background, I covered stories about refugees one of which was about Calais camp “The Jungle” before it was removed as well as covering events to do with fundraising for refugees like this one 🙂
Being a Syrian, I can not help but being involved in a way or another because of the catastrophy people of my country are going through and had no option but to go out of Syria and do it the hard way most of the time.
Being also passionate about music lead me to meet Julia and what is better for me than doing things related to both refugees and music! So here I am joining Julia with her performances under Music with Refugees- UnityMusicموسيقىتوحيد 🙂
Saif Ali ~ Voice ~ UK
Saif Ali is a life coach, community engagement facilitator, public speaker, founder and director of Integr8UK, co-founder of Beyond Borders Totnes & District. He has sung with Julia at several community integration events in Devon and at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconcilation and Peace
Sherwan Qasm ~ Oud and voice ~ UK
Originally from Kurdistan, Sherwan studies oud with Abdul Salam Kheir and has been working with us this year. He is a brilliant improviser and knows many beautiful Kurdish songs
People we have work with:
Abathar Kmash ~ Oud ~ Germany
Abdurrazaqq Schwarz ~ Sax, guitar, percussion ~ Germany
Floriane Dardard ~ Cello ~ France
Hesham Hamra ~ Oud ~ Germany
Laurence Trille ~ Percussion ~ Brazil
Les Levidow ~ Violin ~ UK
Lucile Belliveau ~ Double bass ~ Germany
Mahmoud Sabri ~ Voice, harmonium ~ Germany/Pakistan
Rasoul Moshar ~ Voice, oud, percussion ~ UK
Ribar Mousa Sulaiman ~ Saz ~ UK
Saskia Venegas ~ Violin ~ Holland
Serdar Kobani ~ Tambour ~ Austria
Shadi Hlal ~ Viola ~ Germany
Tarek Thabet ~ Qanun, oud ~ Germany