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Elton John World News: Dan Pearl remembered, Elton involved

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Music-fest to keep murdered journalist memory alive

Friday 22 August 2003 @ 13:59 - GMT

The second annual Daniel Pearl Music Day will be held in October to encourage worldwide harmony in memory of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter and Elton John has put his name to it.

The international series of concerts will be organised around what would have been Pearl's 40th birthday October 10, 2003, according to a statement from the Daniel Pearl Foundation on August 21, 2003.

The inaugural music day last year included more than 100 concerts in 18 different countries.

"We have a unique opportunity to promote a message of tolerance and the spirit of peace on Daniel Pearl Music Day," said jazz musician and composer Herbie Hancock. "I encourage other musicians around the world to join me in this message of harmony and understanding through music."

Pearl, was raised in suburban Encino, USA, was a violinist, fiddler and mandolin player. An honorary committee formed on behalf of the event includes: Hancock, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Zubin Mehta, Itzhak Perlman, Ravi Shankar, Barbra Streisand, John Williams and other well-known artists.

"We are thrilled that this year leading artists from many musical
styles and traditions are joining with us in a clarion call for asserting the oneness of humanity," said Pearl's father, Judea Pearl.

"This year, in particular, music can help us bridge divisions between cultures. We would like to issue a special invitation to the Arab and Muslim world to join us in harmony for humanity."

Pearl, 38, was chief of the Journal's South Asia bureau when he was kidnapped January 23, 2002, while researching a story on Islamic extremists. A videotape of his murder was later delivered to U.S. officials. Four Islamic militants were convicted last year for their involvement in his kidnapping and slaying.

Musicians, performers, DJs and others who want to dedicate a
performance with a message of tolerance and global harmony are encouraged to join the event by registering at the foundation's Web site http://www.danielpearl.org

Concerts scheduled from October 7 to October 19, 2003, can be included in the event.

[Ed. I knew Daniel Pearl in my years at Dow Jones Newswires and Wall Street Journal Europe and counted him as a pal. The news of his kidnap and killing in the aftermath of U.S. strikes against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan horrified all those who respect the championing of the truth in extremely dangerous environments.]