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What Others Are Saying

The mission of Journey West’s educational program is to celebrate diversity while providing an exciting experience for our audiences. In addition, 5% of our income is donated to the UNHCR and Foundation Baremboim Said to help migrants and the disadvantaged.

“What an exhilarating evening last night at Colgate University! The virtuosity was astounding. The excited audience couldn’t stop giving standing ovations! The founder Max Buckholtz is a born performer with a phenomenal ear and he effortlessly moved from one tradition to the next. On par with Silk Road, Journey West gave an impressive and joyous musical tour around the globe.” —Marietta Cheng, Conductor and Op-Ed Writer (including for the New York Times)

“Journey West presented an extremely engaging and informative performance at SUNY Oneonta, as part of one of our regular concert series. The audience, ranging from townspeople to students with widely divergent musical backgrounds, was uniformly and greatly moved and energized by what they heard. I would give my highest recommendation to any organization interested in presenting a lively, virtuosic and entertaining evening of music.” —Ben Aldridge, Lecturer in Music – SUNY Oneonta

“I don’t know how to thank you enough for the concert. It was wonderful and inspiring and joyous and I learned a lot! We must bring you back again! Please convey my thanks and appreciation to all of the musicians – I very much enjoyed meeting them and getting to know them a little bit. I’ve received a number of thank you notes from people who came to the concert, and the students I’ve spoken to also really enjoyed it. It felt like all of us in Hockett became members of one community through listening and participating in the concert (clapping and snapping our fingers) – we were not just an audience, but part of the performance. ” —Rebecca Lesses, Associate Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies at Ithaca College

“We engaged Journey West for a performance at our Endless Mountain Music Festival. It was sold-out because people were curious about what all the fuss was about. The event was spellbinding and the 10 minute standing ovation gave testament to the enthusiasm that this wonderful group generated. ” —Dr. Stephen Gunzenhauser, Artistic Director, Endless Mountain Music Festival

“The students in my course on Music as Activism were terribly touched by both Imad’s personal testimony, as well as the overall musicality of Journey West. One student reacted to the situation in Iraq with disdain, bemoaning that Imad “just wants to play his fiddle,” while another joyously shared that he “Had never heard music like this before.” Students in my ensemble continue to rave about our percussion workshop with Martin and the experience performing live with such a talented group. Hosting a mini-residency seems to have had even greater impact than a concert alone, so we truly appreciate the time and effort of everyone to make this happen.” —Jennifer Milioto Matsue, Ph.D., Director of the World Musics and Cultures Program, Professor, Departments of Music, Asian Studies, and Anthropology, Union College

“Journey West played with energy and warmth. Their concert really did feel like a journey, a sonic invitation through time and space. And it was great for our students and community to have an opportunity to rehearse and play with them; they made everyone feel welcome, regardless of ability.” —David Henderson – Chair of the Music Department, St. Lawrence University, Editor for the Journal Ethnomusicology

My husband and I attended the Journey West concert last night and wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We have known Imad for more than a year (I am a retired professor and have been volunteering at MVRCR) and drove from Syracuse because one of the MVRCR staff at  texted that Imad would be performing. So, we attended without a sense of the program to be presented. We loved the music but as a historian, I especially appreciated the way it was presented. Thanks for all you are doing to bring people together and introduce audiences to music, people, and connections they do not know.  –Geraldine Forbes, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Department of History,State University of New York Oswego

Journey West has appeared at many academic institutions, including: Cornell University, SUNY Oneonta, Wells College, Elmira College, St. Lawrence University, Alfred University, Union College and the Stedelijke Academie voor Muziek, Woord en Dans – Herentals, Belgium.

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Music of the Middle East

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