Arts and Entertainment

Spirited Voices at Grace April 17

Eugene Lewis, Elizabeth Joy Zarek and Paula Johannsen will perform for Voice Education Project’s Spirited Voices recital.   - Courtesy Photo
Eugene Lewis, Elizabeth Joy Zarek and Paula Johannsen will perform for Voice Education Project’s Spirited Voices recital.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Voices Education Project was rooted in an artistic uprising known as Poets Against the War (www.poetsagainstthewar.org.

From that “accidental groundswell,” came a desire to help people understand and transcend the roots of violence.

Having worked in education and curriculum development for many years, Bainbridge Island resident Marilyn Turkovich became involved in creating a curriculum of peace. Turkovich, and the nonprofit Voices Education Project of which she is executive director, provides opportunities for those directly affected by war to tell their personal stories in the classroom and in small, private gatherings.

Spirited Voices

One of the educators who witnessed the profound impact of the curriculum, was Eugene Lewis, a New York City high school teacher. A musician and poet, Lewis connected high school poetry groups with Poets House in New York City.

Recently, while visiting the Seattle area, he was introduced to Turkovich. He was delighted to meet the creator of the peace curriculum he so admired. He will bring his talent to bear an afternoon benefit recital ‘Spirited Voices’ at 4:30 p.m. April 17 at Grace Church, 8595 NE Day Road.

About the voices

Lewis is a performer, vocal coach and graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He is currently in the process of recording a CD of Gershwin and Cole Porter tunes with pianist David Saffert (who will be featured in the April 17 recital).

Vocalist Paula Johannsen, sings in the St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church Choir in Portland, where she is often called upon to solo. She has performed musical theater numbers for fund raisers and as a solo performer. Whether, actually singing or raising money for musical causes, music is a major part of her life.

The haunting and hopeful music of Elizabeth Joy Zarek’s Jewish Hebrew culture has left an impression that has evolved in her over time. Her desire to share messages of peace and perseverance shines through her voice and the playing of her autoharp.

Elizabeth Joy collaborated on a CD in 2008 entitled, “Sounds of You,” with singer-songwriter Jonathan Brinkley. Her own songwriting has a focus on early childhood and family music. She is currently working as a union organizer for child care workers in Oregon.

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Spirited Voices

Voices come together in an eclectic recital featuring traditional spirituals, Hebrew songs and Streisand-esque medleys at 4:30 p.m. April 17 at Grace Church, 8595 NE Day Road. For more information, visit www.voiceseducationproject.org.

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