World Band Naked Rhythm Bridges Global Divisions with New Album "Frequency"

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Cultural traditions meet modern beats to find common ground on the dance floor.

and music breaks down walls instantly.

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In a post 9-11 global environment currently fraught with cultural tensions and war, it may seem unlikely to see a German, a Jew, and a Lebanese man take to the stage with belly dancers to marry ancient Middle-Eastern and World music to electronic house and techno beats for an audience of everyone from buttoned-up American businessmen to Indian Brahmins. But that is precisely what Naked Rhythm, a modern world-music phenomenon currently garnering acclaim with their fresh culture-fusing sound and philosophy, is doing.

Highly sought after for their groundbreaking approach to peace and performing private concerts for celebrities like Sting (who endorsed their album), Robert Downey Jr., The Black Eyed Peas, and others, it's no surprise that their debut album, "Frequency," recently released by Caravan Records, is taking the public by storm and enjoying heavy radio play.

Conceived of and fronted by accomplished musicians Alex Spurkel, a native German, and Avi Sills, a Jewish American, Naked Rhythm is the ultimate example in global hybridization and fusion, wiping out perceived divisions with a shared love of music. The duo is also developing a clothing line and global/ethnically-themed events company around the project to further spread their philosophy.

States Spurkel, "We are trying to get people to open up and think outside of their own cultural reference point, to be more accepting of cultures and people they might normally have conflict with. We are trying to present a model for the world."

"There's a lot of war going on in the world right now, and a lot of healing that needs to be done," adds Sills, "and music breaks down walls instantly."

As testament to that fact, the diverse musicians performing with Naked Rhythm have overcome their own cultural hurdles to achieve harmony with each other. Lebanese performer Tony Khalife came to the band after escaping Beirut in the 1980's and studying music in India. Woroud Antabil, a Muslim female singer, had only performed traditional Middle-Eastern and Arabic music prior to working with Naked Rhythm. "At first she didn't know what to do with our modern fusion, but once she opened up and got a different perspective, what she created for us was incredibly beautiful," says Spurkel.

To further their fence-mending agenda, they have consistently allied themselves with projects to affect tangible social change. Partnering with Conscious Alliance, they played a benefit food drive for Native American communities. They have appeared at the Levantine Center to promote peace and awareness between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Middle-Eastern cultures. In addition, they have performed at the global peace festival Earthdance and an Amazon Watch benefit, which helps indigenous people of the Amazon and aids rainforest conservation efforts.

Their dedication to progressive causes is clear. But, as Spurkel puts it, "It's one thing when you're preaching to the choir. It is another thing when you're playing to a bunch of suits and ties."

It is thus with great pride that Naked Rhythm speaks of their performances in the corporate arena, where they get hips shaking and raise awareness among those with perhaps the most political and social clout. They have played wildly successful shows for clothing giant Guess and biotech firm Amgen, featuring a ten-piece World Orchestra and mesmerizing troupes of dancers ranging from Indian Kathak dance, to traditional belly dance and Brazilian samba. "Bringing that kind of cultural diversity to corporate America is really important. Nobody else is doing that," says Sills.

With their performances and a new album, Sills and Spurkel are hoping to fill that vacancy and inspire others. By bringing people together to find common ground through music, Naked Rhythm is, quite literally, setting the tone.

Caravan Records is a specialty record label focusing on world-beat/electronica artists and compilations. Caravan is a sub-label of Hollywood Music Center, the largest record label and distributor of Belly Dance and traditional Middle-Eastern music. Based in Glendale, CA, they export to over 40 countries. Caravan founder and label owner Mher Panossian's motto is simple, "Moving the listener - Inspiring our artists."

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact us via e-mail.

Naked Rhythm website:

Caravan Records website:

The Naked Rhythm Performance and Interview Video


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