League of Women Voters LaPorte County

The acclaimed world-music group Surabhi will perform at a concert to benefit Syrian refugees on Sunday, April 30 at 4 pm, at the Elston Performing Arts Center in Michigan City.  The event is sponsored by Concerned Citizens for Syrian Refugees of Northwest Indiana (CCSR) and the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (multifaithalliance.org). 

        Surabhi, a group based in Chicago, is comprised of musicians from India to Spain, via the Middle East and North Africa, creating a lush soundscape of flamenco and Afro rhythms woven into the rich sounds of Indian classical raga embellished with blues and folk melodies.  This performance is a unique opportunity to experience this exuberant cross-cultural extravaganza, and to support a good cause at the same time.  Surabhi will amaze your senses, elate your spirit, and make you want to dance in the aisles.  Bring the whole family and expand your musical horizons!  Be adventurous and get away from the same-old, same-old.   Who could imagine that one could have such an adventure in Michigan City? 

     The head of this ensemble is Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays the veena, a stringed instrument that is a precursor to the sitar, made famous by Ravi Shankar. The oudh, from which the lute and mandolin evolved, the Spanish guitar, cello, and various percussion instruments, along with exquisite dancers from India and Peru, round out the ensemble.  Altogether, the program is an eye-popping and ear-opening adventure, a sonic tour of the world.  If you are a guitar player, you will be especially awed by the virtuosity of the musicians and find new inspiration for your own repertoire.

     All proceeds from the concert will go to help Syrian refugees who are living in desperate conditions in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. “This is the largest refugee crisis since World War II,” says CCSR Chair Jeanette Neagu.  Some thirteen million persons, displaced by a civil war that began in 2011, are in need of basic assistance – housing, food, medical care, and schooling for the children.   In 2015 a group of La Porte County residents formed CCSR to address this issue.  CCSR is now affiliated with the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, a national nonprofit which encompasses eighty-two faith-based and secular organizations representing Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists. The Multifaith Alliance addresses the Syrian refugee crisis by raising public awareness and raising funds for humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

To purchase tickets, call 219-851-7586.  Ticket prices are $25 for general admission, and $10 for students, and will also be available at the door.  Online tickets are available at https://surabhi_syrianrefugees.eventbrite.com.  Tickets may be ordered by check, made out to “MFA – Tides Center” and mailed to CCSR, P.O. Box 8573, Michigan City, IN 46361.  Interested persons who wish to support the cause but are unable to attend the concert are encouraged to make a donation to the Multifaith Alliance, at the above address.

For more information, contact: Jeanette Neagu, Chair, Concerned Citizens for Syrian Refugees of Northwest Indiana:  (219) 879-0431, jgvneagu@yahoo.com

Concerned Citizens for Syrian Refugees
World Music Concert by Surabhi on April 30
Will Benefit Syrian Refugees


Although CCSR has previously presented educational programs to promote its cause and inform the community in Northwest Indiana, when CCSR member Barbara Collins saw this world music group at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan, she was so taken with it that she felt it needed to be heard (and seen) by more people.  The melting pot of music that is represented by this ensemble seemed a fitting metaphor for the mission of CCSR, and the concert would thereby mark a celebration of the Syrian people and their heritage,  celebrating  the universal language of music and the diversity of our musical roots.