Salaam Shalom is a new Middle Eastern band whose goal is promoting peace through music and intercultural understanding. Their name means "peace" in Arabic and Hebrew. Their music comes from the cultures of the Middle East and the Jewish diaspora, including songs sung in Arabic, Judeo-Arabic, Ladino, Hebrew, Yiddish and English. The band features accordionist Laurie Lippin. Other instruments include trumpet, violin, recorders, bass, doumbek (Arabic drum), riq (Arabic tambourine), and vocals. A guest belly dancer will be included in their performance.
This is Laurie Lippin's third time on the Cotati Accordion Festival Stage. She performed in 1998 with a Sonoma County klezmer band, Limonim, then again in 2001 with The Red Hot Chachkas. Laurie has been playing accordion since age 12. Actively involved in the diversity world as a consultant, trainer, and faculty person at UC Davis, Laurie has found a receptive audience at major conferences for her own Jewish "roots" music. Now, however, with Salaam Shalom, she feels like she is bringing her passions together as she joins other musicians in playing music representative of the Jews of many different traditions in concert with beautiful Arabic, Palestinian, and other Middle Eastern voices. For her work with Salaam Shalom, Laurie plays her beloved Bugari, and a Hohner she purchased in Romania that has been modified for Arabic tuning.