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Seattle Sacred Music: A Balm For the Soul

by Beverly Aarons


Have you ever listened to music that lifts your spirit, even after a difficult day? Your heart slows down to an even, relaxed thump, and all of your anxieties dissipate. In almost every culture, this kind of music exists. It’s ancient. It’s unmetered. It’s sacred. And Seattle Sacred Music and Art (SAMA) wants to bring this sacred music from around the globe to Seattle stages and — during the pandemic — screens. Founded in late 2019 by John Goodfellow, SAMA has already begun featuring on its website livestreamed performances from international sacred music artists. I had an opportunity to speak with KEXP DJ and SAMA curator, Darek Mazzone, about his vision. 

“I’m trying to get people to open up their hearts to other places,” Mazzone said. He describes himself as a cultural activist who uses music to change minds. “I’m seeing a lot of closed hearts right now — closed hearts all over this country and other parts of the world — and a lot of fear. And I find that with music as an art form, it allows people to let go of fear and it opens up their hearts.”

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