group Poetz4Peace as it makes its US debut in California. The group
includes core members Haji Mike and Zeki Ali, Cypriots from opposite
sides of the line that has divided the island for 29 years. Their
messages of peace and reunification are supported by music influenced by
hip-hop, ambient, funk, reggae, dancehall, and dub. The US tour includes
a reception with Cypriot Consul Nicolaos Theophanous and an appearance
at the prestigious Sierra Nevada World Music Festival as well as other
Songs on the CD released last year, “A Pair of Olive Leaves,” make a
plea for peace to prevail not only in Cyprus, but throughout the world.
The disc was recorded largely over the Internet by Poetz on opposite
sides of the Atlantic. Zeki Ali described the goals of the project, “Our
trials will be the greatest gifts to our children and we lovingly take
our part. Peace is not just an alternative to war; it is a way of life.
A universal ‘religion’. We are simple people who are proud to be
simple.” Holding down the US side of the cyber-collaboration is San
Francisco’s Steffen Franz, label head of PSM Recordings. He further
elaborated on the Poetz’ mission “to make this music heard throughout
the world and to enjoy the knowledge that we are doing something that is
changing the world around us for the better.”
Another unique aspect of Poetz4Peace is the manner in which it was
funded. The Bi-communal Development Programme (BDP) supported not only
the recording and release of the CD but also educational workshops aimed
at youth. The BDP, based in Cyprus, is supported by the United Nations
Development Programme, United Nations Office for Project Services
(UNOPS) and United States Agency for International Development. A second
CD “A Cyprus Thing” OTM002 is due for release later on this summer, and
features 29 songs from amazing artists from both sides of the
“Greenline”. Olive Tree Music LTD (Cyprus) and PSM Recordings (US)
provide label support for Poetz4Peace.
Members of Poetz4Peace:
Steffen Franz (AKA Stand Out Selector) – Producer and Beat maker on the
CD is also PSM Recordings label founder, producer, remixer, beat
creator. Zeki Ali – poet, writer, radio presenter. Haji Mike – Lyricist
and MC on the album is also a poet, musician, producer, PhD, vragga
dagga don, and P4P/OTM founder. Also featured on “A Pair of Olive
Leaves” were Mike Minas on bouzouki and Mike Cherry on keyboards with
guest appearances by Rocker T, Kyppa Ranks, Elena Savva, and CC Martyn.
Full June Schedule for Poetz4Peace:
Wednesday June 16th, 2004, 8PM ? 11PM
Welcome Reception – Presented by Nicolaos Theophanous, Honorary Consul
of Cyprus at San Francisco, Positive Sound Massive Recordings, Olive
Tree Music LTD, and Minerva CafÃƒÂ©. Live acoustic performances by
Poetz4Peace including poetry and spoken word performances. International
DJ music from DJ Jah Kosmik and DJ Aykut. Minerva Cafe, 1750 Divisadero,
San Francisco, CA. (415) 359 1467 Doors @ 8 until 11pm. All Ages.
Sliding scale donation ($10 Minimum).
Thursday June 17th, 2004, 7:30PM
Poetry Reading – Poets Haji Mike and Zeki Ali will perform selections
from “Weeping Island,” “A Pair of Olive Leaves” and other writings. Bird
and Beckett Books, 2788 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA (415)
586-3733 Performance starts at 7:30 pm. Free.
Friday, June 18th, 2004, 9:00 PM
Poetz4Peace Concert – PSM Recordings presents the first US live concert
performance of Poetz4Peace with special guests including Stand Out
Selector, Jah Minds Eye Soundsystem and more. The Shattuck Downlow
Lounge 2284 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA (510) 548-1159 Doors at 9 pm
Poetz4Peace at 11 pm More information: http://www.shattuckdownlow.com
Sunday, June 20th, 2004
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival – Poetz4Peace performs at the 11th
annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival at Angel’s Camp, Calavaras
County, California. Three day festival features Burning Spear, Michael
Franti & Spearhead, Femi Kuti, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Marcia
Griffiths, Israel Vibration and The Mighty Diamonds and over 20 more
acts. More info:
Sunday, June 20th, 2004
Poetz4Peace @ La Pena – Live and Direct from the divided Island of
Cyprus, an intimate evening of spoken word with poets Haji Mike and Zeki
Ali, reading selections from “Weeping Island” and “A Pair of Olive
Leaves” plus past and present works. LA Pena Cultural Center, 3105
Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA (510) 849-2568 Doors @ 8 pm, Reading @
7:30 – 10:00 pm. Donations Encouraged! http://www.lapena.org
Members of the music press and representatives of radio stations are
invited to request press kits, CDs, and press passes to performances.
Press passes to Sierra Nevada World Music Festival are limited.