Monthly Archives: October 2017

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Benefit Concert for JIDS

Three congregations that pray at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA, have joined together to sponsor a concert in the name of peace.    It is with deep gratitude that we can announce that all of the net proceeds from this concert will go to JIDS.

The three congregations sponsoring the concert are the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Kol Ami (the Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Jewish Congregation) and the Moroccan American Community Organization.  Collectively, they have joined with FocusMusic to create a concert named Peace, Salaam, Shalom.  The performers will be Rev. Fred Small, SONiA and Huda Asfour.  The concert will take place on November 18 beginning at 6:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. Tickets are $15 in advance at and $18 at the door.  

About Rev. Fred Small

Rev. Fred Small has been hailed by Pete Seeger as “one of America’s best songwriters.”  He sings songs of conscience in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton.  Powerful, affecting, and inviting, Fred’s songs illuminate the goodness and courage of all kinds of people.

After graduating from Yale, Fred earned a law degree and a Master’s in natural resources policy at the University of Michigan.  In 1980 Fred left his staff attorney position at the Conservation Law Foundation to pursue his music career full time.  In 1996, Fred entered Harvard Divinity School. He is now Minister for Climate Justice at Arlington Street (Unitarian Universalist) Church in Boston.

Fred has performed in numerous folk arts festivals both in the United States and abroad.  In the words of Jon Pareles, of the New York Times, “Fred Small is doing what the best topical songwriters have done since the 1960s. He uses a handful of chords, a sense of humor, a sense of purpose and an eye for revealing detail to write songs that tell stories with a political point… Small’s affection and optimism are contagious.” 

Get a taste of Fred Small at

About SONiA

SONiA (Rutstein) disappear fear has 17 award winning CDs including first round Grammy entries for several albums. Wrote Don Kening in the Chicago Daily Herald: “Her songs are a vivid celebration of the human spirit in all its infinite manifestations. Her music has a singular sound that makes labeling and categorizing a waste of time.”

SONiA is the recipient of the Coin of Honor from a joint coalition of U.S. military for her humanitarian efforts. She has received the GLAMA (Gay and Lesbian Music Awards) for Female Artist of the year and the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian American Anti Defamation) Award for Best Album to name a few. Writing songs in Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, German and in multiple genres from blues to middle eastern to country and western she has sold over a million units. 

SONiA has shared the stage with such musicians as Bruce Springsteen; Peter, Paul and Mary; Green Day; Sheryl Crow; and Pete Seeger.  Says Rounder Records: “The honesty of her songs touches the hearts and minds of people from a wide spectrum of social and ethnic backgrounds who share a positive world vision.” SONiA resides in Baltimore, Maryland.

Check out SONiA at

About Huda Asfour

Huda Asfour started her formal training in Tunis at the age of 13, choosing the oud inspired by her grandfather. After a short stay in Gaza, she moved to Ramallah, were she met Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, a Palestinian composer and entrepreneur, and together they founded “Jehar,” a series of shows experimenting with the reinterpretation of Arabic and folk music. The project featured musicians from Egypt and Palestine. 

In Washington DC, Huda met a community of Palestinians with whom she started the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival. She also wrote and recorded a debut album called Mars, which she has described in part as “A search for home and for identity. A trip to a world without borders. Undefined by labels and boundaries.”  Named after the Roman god of war, Mars was influenced by Huda’s life as a youth living in the mountains of Lebanon and then later as a resident of Ramallah during the early years of the Second Intifada (uprising).  

Listen to Huda Asfour at

About FocusMusic

FocusMusic brings folk and acoustic music to a growing audience through performance, education and participation in the musical folk arts. FocusMusic is predominantly a volunteer organization that provides opportunities for nationally touring and emerging singer-songwriters to develop and maintain performance opportunities. FocusMusic provides an intimate setting for a listening audience. FocusMusic has been producing shows for more than 14 years. FocusMusic operates 5 venues in the DC/Baltimore area. Its vision is that live folk and acoustic music will be performed somewhere in the DC/Baltimore area every day in venues sponsored by FocusMusic or by other non-profit sponsors.