Gary Lucas and Najma Akhtar shatter religious & cultural barriers in “Rishte”

Steve Hochman interviews Gary Lucas about his collaboration with Najma Akhtar, and their exciting new CD, RishteYou’ll get to listen to one of the tracks, too!

Excerpt: “She liked it — I was the brash American!” says Lucas, who had been a fan of Akhtar since hearing her 1990 album ‘Atish‘ and seeing the ‘UnLedded’ MTV telecast. “And she is Muslim, very devout. As a Jewish artist — I’m not a professional Jewish musician but have been doing Jewish music — I’m trying to break down the barriers of religious groups and cultures. Best way the world has a chance of hanging together is celebrating the differences, and there is no better way to do it as a musician than collaborate with other musicians.”

Now why can’t politicians and diplomats do this sort of thing with such ease and grace?! Maybe we should replace all those folks with musicians!

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