He calls himself the “Peace Troubadour” and thinks his concert can soothe the savage beast. But in this case, the beast he is trying to take down is the biggest terror facing the entire world: ISIS. Crazy kook or romantic dreamer and motivator? Let’s take a peek at this Peace Troubadour.
The Peace Troubadour
James Twyman is a folk singer from Portland, Oregon, who is part musician, part peaceful protestor. Calling himself the “Peace Troubadour,” he believes that his skills as a musician can help bring people together and create a real sense of peace in the world. Whereas other folk musicians with similar skills – Joan Baez, James Taylor – play concerts and sell music, he takes it one step further. He goes into war-torn countries in order to play his music.
The Power Of Music
Music is a powerful unifier. It knows no language. The best musicians – as demonstrated recently with the tragic passing of musical legend David Bowie – can transcend national boundaries and unite his or her fans around the planet, even decades after a person hears the song for the first time. “I remember where I was the moment I heard…” is a sentence commonly uttered among music fans, and even those participating in one of the biggest rites of passage in any culture – marriage – knows of the common custom of having a shared song, typically picked out because of a memory attached to the couple through the song, be it through the couple’s first dance, their first kiss, or even their first time seeing their partner. The memory of music matters and can make a lasting impact on a person.
It sounds like chanting, almost – James’s method of creating songs is by setting traditional prayers of several faiths to music. As reported by Fox News, James is very drawn to this work and fully believes in its ability to effect change. He says it is a calling, and that, “It’s going to be pretty powerful. When people come together and focus on something in a positive way… there’s scientific evidence that it can change things for the better.”
Jan. 31 Plans
James leaves the states Jan. 20, has a brief stop in Italy, then crosses into a small Druze village along the northern border of Syria. While in the village, Majdal Shams, he will be coordinating with his contacts to settle on a venue for the event in the war-torn area. And, yes, while he hasn’t finalized a venue yet, the date is set: Jan. 31. On that day, James will be joined by faith leaders of several cultures to make this an event to be remembered.
A Dangerous Play
James has been told by the State Department not to go. They said their power of protection is limited, especially with possible kidnapping or hostage proclivities in the region. Despite these warnings, James plans to go anyway. Putting himself in harm’s way has never been a challenge that has stopped James before: this is his fourth big event in a war-torn country. His first three were in 1990s Baghdad around the time of Operation Desert Storm, in 1995 in Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan War, and even previously playing in Syria.
“I’m no sort of hero, but I do believe in the power of this,” he explained.
With these words, James Twyman picks up his weapon to fight the world’s biggest, most powerful threat today: ISIS. But will it be enough? He thinks so, and we all hope the best.