Who We Are

Julia Katarina ~ Founder ~ Mezzo-soprano, cellist and oud player

Music with refugees at City Plaza Hotel, Athens, where many refugee families are living

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 did amazing things with some the girls at the infamous Moria camp

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.

Co-initiators:

Ruth Leber ~ Piano and voice ~ Germany

Tobias Bülow ~ Flutes and percussion ~ Germany

Members include:

Ahmad Makhzoum ~ Voice ~ UK

Lama Khayer ~ Voice ~ UK

lama

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 for Refugees 🙂

Saif Ali ~ Voice ~ UK

Saif ALiSaif Ali is a life coach, community engagement facilitator, public speaker, founder and director of Embracing Refugees, co-founder of Beyond Borders Totnes & District.

Jack Lilo ~ Oud and voice ~ UK

Originally from Kurdistan, Jack 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 ~ Kanun, oud ~ Germany

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Click here to see the videos