Syrian musicians, who completed a world tour with acclaimed songwriter Damon Albarn, are among the entertainers at a variety night to raise cash for #HandsOffHRI.
The band, part of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, will be performing at the #HandsOffHRI Fighting Fund Variety Night at St Patrick’s Catholic Club, Trinity Street, on Saturday (from 7.30pm).
The quartet, comprising Osama Kiwan, Bassel Saleh, Mohammad Saleh and Jamal Assakka, were highly regarded performers in their native Syria but fled to escape the civil war.
The band, now settled in Barnsley, played as part of Blur frontman Albarn’s Africa Express company which has organised shows at many prestigious venues across the world including The Royal Festival Hall, London.
The night to raise cash for a potential legal challenge against the controversial Right Care Right Time Right Place (RCRTRP) plan features:
Stefan is a comedian from Huddersfield with a degree in Chinese and Korean.
He has performed stand-up in both China and the UK and in August did a run at the Edinburgh Fringe with his student comedy society.
Swordsman Jake is black belt in the Samurai art of Iaido – ‘the way of the draw’.
In feudal Japan trainee samurai were trained to react to danger and draw their sword instantly. They would disable their opponent with a swift and precise series of cuts, shake off the blood and then safely place the sword away – all the while maintaining perfect composure and focus.
Jake has been studying Iaido at the MST academy in Barnsley for three years.
He will demonstrate some of the techniques that the Samurai of old used. All of these techniques would be practiced against an imaginary opponent using a real sword until they became second nature.
Also on the bill are Barnsley-based indie band Paisley Sundae, and country and western duo Sweet Water Creek, from Durham.
Also performing will be dancer (and little sister of #HandsOffHRI secretary Nicola Jowett) Charlotte Jowett.
Nicola said: “I am absolutely thrilled the Syrian musicians could come to join us.
“From speaking to them they are lovely guys so I think #HandsOffHRI is really lucky to have them at our event and it would be great if people could come down to show their support for the campaign and all the acts who have given their time for nothing.”
#HandsOffHRI is fighting RCRTRP which would close Huddersfield’s A&E and centralise emergency care at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Halifax.