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This Muslim/Christian/Jewish band believes that harmony is even greater than unity. Help them put more love in the world...
555 backers pledged $48,488 to help bring this project to life.

About

Abraham Jam — TWO new CD's! project video thumbnail
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    • العربية
    • English
    • Español (México)
    • עברית

$48,488

555

A Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian walk into a recording studio…

It's no joke. Abraham Jam is a trio of internationally-renowned musicians who have teamed up to create music that is strengthened by the differences they bring to the table. Amidst divisiveness and alienation, Abraham Jam believes in the healing power of music to dissolve the illusion of our separateness, song by song.

Billy Jonas, David LaMotte, and Dawud Wharnsby are three 'brothers' from the three Abrahamic faiths. Individually, they are well-respected and well-loved artists, performing extensively over the last few decades, playing over 10,000 concerts and releasing more than thirty-five albums altogether. When they join forces, the sum is even greater than its individual parts.

“Harmony is even better than unity,” says LaMotte. “We don’t have to sing the same note to create beauty, we can sing different notes that draw out the beauty in each other.” Instead of just taking turns sharing songs, they create music together, contributing vocal harmonies, percussion, and instrumentation to each other’s songs.

History and Biography

Abraham Jam was born in 2010. Catalyzed by instances of rising xenophobia and religious intolerance in the world, LaMotte, who was working with the North Carolina Council of Churches at the time, came up with the concept as a means to form interfaith respect and cooperation. Their seminal event was at Duke University, and included notable Jewish singer-songwriter Dan Nichols. Also in attendance at that first Abraham Jam concert was Billy Jonas, who now represents the Jewish dimension of the band (with Dan's blessing!).

Billy Jonas, a performer, songsmith, educator, and multi-faith advocate, has performed worldwide since 1987. An accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and percussionist who plays traditional and found/created instruments, he has a knack for inspiring audiences to join in. His award winning CD’S/DVD’s and performances have taken him from the White House to the West Bank/Palestine, and from the U.K. to Israel. “What a privilege to play and harmonize with two world-class musicians, who have polished the lenses of their different faiths so beautifully,” says Jonas. “I learn so much each time!”

David LaMotte has performed thousands of concerts on five continents, in addition to writing three books and engaging in peace and justice work around the world. In 2010, he took a two-year break from music to earn a masters in International Studies, Peace and Conflict Resolution from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia as a Rotary Peace Fellow. These days, he is almost as occupied with speaking engagements as he is with music.

Dawud Wharnsby is a Canadian-born poet, songwriter and artist. He began sharing his songs with audiences as a street performer in his late teens. Over two decades later, his career as a troubadour has yielded fifteen solo albums, five poetry anthologies, numerous soundtrack credits, performances in some of the world’s most prestigious theaters and collaborations with internationally celebrated artists.

“For thousands of years, in villages spread out around the world, song was a way for common people to share and pass along their stories,” he explains. “Today, when we’re so interconnected through travel and technology, it is important that we also communicate through this ancient form. We need to sing our world’s ongoing story together.”

Abraham Jam has performed for the Festival of the Sacred Arts in Michigan, and for the 2016 Parliament of World Religions in Utah, among other events and venues. Now they are heading into the studio to create two albums — the first is a live recording taken from a recent concert in Asheville, NC, and the second a studio project.

Why Two CD's?

"A live record is basically a photograph," LaMotte says. "You can manipulate it a bit afterward in the darkroom, but basically it is a record of what happened. A studio album, on the other hand, is a painting. There are infinite options for aural colors, textures, contrasts and combinations in order to craft the art you envision. They are extremely different, and they bring different value. We really want to offer both."

The guys from Abraham Jam will team up with Chris Rosser at Hollow Reed studio in Asheville, NC to mix the live album, then will continue work on their studio recording there, as well. Top-notch artists will be invited to work on the CD art.

Scroll down for videos of several Abraham Jam songs!

What Will This Project Fund?

The live album will cost about $12,500.  Here's how it breaks down:

  • Original live recording (live sound and recorded sound - already paid) $2,000
  • Mixing and mastering  $6,300
  • Photography, design and manufacturing (2000 CDs)  $4,200
    Total:  $12,500

The studio album will take more time and investment. Here's the best estimate:

  • Studio recording, mixing, and mastering, guest musicians $25,000
  • Photography, design and manufacturing (2000 CDs) $5,500  
  • Flights for Dawud $1,800
    Total: $32,300

So to make both records, the total is about $44,800.

Thanks for Helping To Shine a Bit of Light

The live CD is due out in October, and the studio record in April of next year. If you want to help to create one or both, please join in!

At a point in history when divisions loom large, it is important that we not only stand in the way of actions that separate us, but also that we create those things that bring us together. If you would like to join us in that work, welcome to the community!

Risks and challenges

A note from the band: Life is certainly unpredictable, and surprises could interrupt our scheduled studio time, etc. As of now, though, it looks like we have all the time we need to get these two projects done, with plenty of buffer. For the live album we have a beautiful multi-track recording from a recent concert in Asheville, NC, and we have the time and the songs we need to create the studio album. The only missing piece is the funding. If we can work that bit out, we're golden!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Some music for you (and early!)

    Thanks so much for helping us create a really special thing. Here's some music! We'll send you MP3s of three songs from each of the new records — a month before they are officially released! (That's August 2018 for the live CD, and March 2019 for the studio CD)

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The live album! (digital)

    Download the live album a month before it is released!

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    The studio album! (digital)

    Download the studio album a month before it is released!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The live album (physical CD) + goodies

    The live CD, with stories and songs, photos of the show, and backstory, shipped the month before the official release!

    Plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

    (Ships first class -- shipping fees are additional)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The studio album (physical CD) + goodies

    The studio CD, with music, photos, and backstory, shipped the month before the official release!

    ...plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

    (Ships first class -- shipping fees are additional)

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Double download — both CDs!

    You can download the live CD in September of 2018 and the studio album by March of 2019, a month before each is publicly released.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Both CDs!

    You'll get the live CD in September of 2018 and the studio album by March of 2019, a month before each is publicly released.

    ...plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

    (shipping costs are higher due to shipping each CD separately, as it is completed. The live CD will ship, first class, in September, 2018)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Five different CDs!

    Both of the new Abraham Jam CDs, plus a CD from each of the guys in the band. (digital downloads — you choose which ones).

    All but the studio CD will be delivered by August of 2018. The studio CD will be delivered in March of 2019, a month before official release.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Five different signed CDs!

    For $85 or more you receive both of the new Abraham Jam CDs, plus a CD from each of the guys in the band (you can choose from a short list)
    All but the studio CD will be delivered by August of 2018. The studio CD will be delivered in March of 2019, a month before official release.
    Plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Autographed lyrics, CD's, and goodies!

    Lyrics to any Abraham Jam song, or song by any of the artists in Abraham Jam, beautifully printed on high-quality paper, and signed by the artists. And, both of the new Abraham Jam CDs, also autographed!

    Plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

    (the studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll sing happy birthday! (and stuff)

    Abraham Jam will make a custom recording of us singing happy birthday to the person of your choice, then one of us will call them on their birthday and play the recording (then send it to them via email). How much fun is that?! :-)

    Also, both CDs, signed. Plus an Abraham Jam sticker and an Abraham Jam guitar pick! :-)

    (the studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    EVERYTHING! So much music...

    A custom USB drive containing every album that the guys in Abraham Jam have ever published! That's over 35 CDs! Also, uncut video footage of interviews, concert footage, photos and other 'backstage' material.

    Plus both physical CD's, signed, and a sticker and a guitar pick.

    (the studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    Trampoline!!!

    Hang out with Billy and David and up to four friends on Billy's trampoline in Asheville! We'll have snacks and spend an hour or so goofing off together.

    AND you get a custom USB drive containing every album that the guys in Abraham Jam have ever published! That's over 35 CDs! Also, uncut video footage of interviews, concert footage, photos and other 'backstage' material.

    Plus both physical CD's, signed, and a sticker and a guitar pick.

    (the studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    EVERYTHING and more! A banner, too

    A custom USB drive containing every album that Abraham Jam, or the guys in Abraham Jam, has ever published! That's over 35 CDs! Also, uncut video footage of interviews, concert footage, photos and other 'backstage' material.

    ...AND a 'Let's Be Neighbors' banner, any size you prefer, up to 16 feet tall, or as small as letter size, printed on indoor/outdoor vinyl, with grommets at your preference. More info at LetsBeNeighbors.org

    Plus both physical CD's, signed, and a sticker and a guitar pick.

    (the studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Dinner and a song

    Both CDs, signed by all three of us, the loaded USB with all of our albums (see above), thanks in the liner notes of the album, and...

    At least one of us (your choice) will take you and a friend of your choosing out for a good dinner in our hometowns (that's the Asheville, NC area, or Kitchener, Ontario area, or when we are near your hometown), hang out and talk and take selfies if you want, and we will sing you a song before the evening is through (and we'll cover the check!).

    Pending finding a time and date that works for everyone, of course.

    (and we will cover the shipping for your goodies. The studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    VIP tickets and a hang

    Both CDs, signed by all three of us, the loaded USB with all of our albums (see above), thanks in the liner notes of the album, and...

    Up to four tickets to a concert of your choice, invitation to the sound check, and a late night hang out after the show, with selfies and songs and good conversation.

    (you cover travel to the show and lodging; we will cover the after-party, and shipping for your goodies. The studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You're in the band (and on the CD!)

    TEN copies of the studio CD, a copy of the live CD (all signed by the three of us), the loaded USB with all of our albums (see above), thanks in the liner notes of the album, and...

    We will invite you to spend an afternoon in the recording studio in Asheville, NC to be on the studio album we are working on. You will be listed among the musicians on that song, and we will help you sing or play (at the producer's discretion) to get your part right for the mix.

    We will also set you up with lodging that night in the Asheville area, and cover your transportation while you are here, if you fly.

    (you cover travel to Asheville; we will cover the shipping for your goodies. The studio albums will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    Concert! (local-ish)

    A full concert from Abraham Jam, in a public or private show, anywhere within five hours of Asheville, NC!

    Plus, we’ll send you 10 signed copies of each CD for you to share with friends, a custom USB drive containing every album that the guys in Abraham Jam have ever published (and a bunch of other content), Abraham Jam guitar picks and stickers, and we will thank you in the CD liner notes.

    If you like, we will also teach a workshop, either on songwriting and/or performance, or on interfaith work and pluralism, in conjunction with the concert.

    (Travel costs *not* additional - we'll cover that. Pending calendar availability, within 2 years. Sound reinforcement provided by you, appropriate to the venue. The studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Concert! (N. America - all incl)

    We will travel anywhere in North America to perform for you, in a public or private show! Plus, we’ll send you 10 signed copies of each CD for you to share with friends, a custom USB drive containing every album that the guys in Abraham Jam have ever published (and a bunch of other content), Abraham Jam guitar picks and stickers, and we will thank you in the CD liner notes.

    If you like, we will also teach a workshop, either on songwriting and/or performance, or on interfaith work and pluralism, in conjunction with the concert.

    (Travel costs *not* additional - we'll cover that. Pending calendar availability, within 2 years. Sound reinforcement provided by you, appropriate to the venue. The studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Your own concert! (worldwide)

    We will travel anywhere worldwide to perform for you, in a public or private show! Plus, we’ll send you 10 signed copies of each CD for you to share with friends, a custom USB drive containing every album that the guys in Abraham Jam have ever published (and a bunch of other content), Abraham Jam guitar picks and stickers, and we will thank you in the CD liner notes.

    If you like, we will also teach a workshop, either on songwriting and/or performance, or on interfaith work and pluralism, in conjunction with the concert.

    (Travel costs are additional. Pending calendar availability, within 2 years. Sound reinforcement provided by you, appropriate to the venue. The studio album will be sent in March of 2019, before it is released; everything else will ship in September, 2018)

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Funding period

- (28 days)