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An immersive series of music & art performances focused on the healing power of global sacred music.

For our founders, one idea proves more paramount than perhaps any other when trying to build an inclusive world of ideas, creativity and cultural awareness. That is: if you enjoy an artist’s work, then it’s tremendously hard to hate the country where that artist is from.
Today, the dialogue surrounding global, political and cultural divides seems to be at an all-time high. Tensions between “Red” and “Blue,” Democrat and Republican, Black and White, foreign and domestic and myriad other pseudo-oppositions loom large in the cultural discourse. But they don’t have to. Instead of fostering a world where divisions thrive, we at SAMA is working to create a place where cultures blend.

“We want to open people’s hearts,” says our co-founder, Darek Mazzone, a KEXP 90.3 FM DJ and Polish immigrant who moved to America decades ago from the former Communist country. “That’s what imbues our sense of humanity. We want to do this by bringing artists to Seattle. Often, people feel as if they’ve ‘seen’ the U.S. if they visit L.A. or New York City. But there can be so much more.”
We pride ourself on producing and sharing global sacred music and art in the Pacific Northwest and work to foster cultural awareness and understanding. While some may have the bigoted opinion that, say, “all Muslims are dangerous,” we hope to expose people to nuanced creative work by global musicians to tear down these otherwise dangerous and ill-conceived preconceptions.

Both Darek and our other co-founder, John Goodfellow, who is also the founder of the Russian spa: Banya 5, a global traveler and a pioneer in building community through traditional cultural modes, understand why this globally-minded music is so necessary to share. As white men in their middle age, they know how others who look like them can sometimes fear the work from people in cultures who don’t. Additionally, they have seen firsthand through their efforts as artists and curators the types of connections SAMA engenders, and how these serve as rejuvenation rather than debilitation.
“The history of the immigrant experience is complicated,” Darek says. “To which there are no easy solutions, except to feel a shared connection and humanity. To understand each other’s history, emotionally. That changes the narrative when it would be otherwise too easy to slip into hate.”

As we (SAMA) continue to grow, we hope to bring new live performances to cultural spaces in the Seattle region, both in the Emerald City and other locales like Renton and Edmonds. We want the work to see more stages beyond the tried-and-true Seattle Center. Artists that we will work with include the musicians Yacouba Sissoko, Kiran Ahluwalia, Simon Mejia (Bomba Estereo), and Joe Kye.

“You can’t fight culture,” Darek says. “If you burn a book or ban an album, that just makes it stronger. Our hope is that we at SAMA can continue to play a significant role in the development of the Seattle-area music ecosystem.”