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Daniel Pearl Foundation Congratulates Winners of 2006 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins

Fiddlers from Canada and Texas
Are Recipients of Prestigious “Strings” Award

Los Angeles – September 1, 2006— The Daniel Pearl Foundation congratulates Canadian teenage fiddle sensations John and James Abrams, and Austin, Texas-based violinist, Phoebe Hunt, who were selected as the winners of the 2006 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins. They were awarded their violins at the Mark O’Connor Strings Conference in San Diego, California, and will have full use of the instruments for a year.

The Daniel Pearl Memorial violins are crafted by Jonathan Cooper of Maine in honor of Daniel Pearl, the international journalist and talented musician who joined classical, folk, bluegrass and jazz groups throughout his journeys, bridging cultural differences through music.

The Abrams Brothers ( http://www.theabramsbrothers.ca/home.cfm) burst onto the Canadian bluegrass music scene in 1999 when John and James were 9 and 6. (John is now 16, and James is 13.) Like Daniel Pearl, they were initially trained on classical violin but have since expanded their musical scope to include playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin, as well as other stringed instruments. The highlight of their young careers came in October of 2005 when they made their debut appearance at country music’s most prestigious venue, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. They also have been featured on a variety of award winning radio shows and have played at many prestigious bluegrass and gospel venues and festivals throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

“We are honored to receive such a prestigious award, and we plan to ensure the year that we have this violin is one in which we can uphold the honor of a man who lived and died for what he believed in,” John and James stated.

Phoebe Hunt, 22, grew up in Austin, Texas, and she has been playing violin since she was six years old. She currently teaches violin at the Austin Montessori School and will graduate from the University of Texas this December with a history degree. Although she was trained as a classical violinist, the fiddle has become her passion, and she is a member of the popular Austin-based band, the Hudsons (http://www.thehudsonsmusic.com/), the self-proclaimed hardest working band in Texas, which is currently working on their third album.

Commenting on the Award, Phoebe stated, “For me, the fiddle is a symbol of peace, and I am truly humbled by being awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. Like Danny Pearl, I believe that music is the one pure force that can bridge the differences between people. Without saying a word, two people who speak different languages can find a deep connection through a single note. I will treasure the year that I am privileged to play this wonderful instrument.”

Daniel Pearl’s murder by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002 touched millions who never knew him. By developing innovative international programs focused on journalism, music and respectful dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation seeks to counter the hatred and intolerance that took his life. www.danielpearl.org.

Media Contact:
Jeff Lloyd
Sitrick and Company
(212) 573-6100

Foundation Contact:
Jackie Gelfand
Executive Director
Daniel Pearl Foundation
(310) 441-1400

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