Legendary producer Quincy Jones has partnered with United Arab Emirates-based social entrepreneur Badr Jafar to jointly produce an Arabic charity single entitled ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’ to raise money and help finance educational arts and culture scholarships and projects for children in the Middle East and North Africa. The project is being implemented in association with the Mawazine Festival.
Global Gumbo Group, which was established earlier this year, will record the new Arabic version of the song ‘Tomorrow (A Better You, A Better Me)’, Jones’ famous anthem of peace, hope and unity, in Rabat, Morocco, concurrently with the 10th edition of the MAWAZINE Festival Rhythms of the World. It was twenty six years ago that the iconic recording ‘We Are The World’, also produced by Jones, generated tens of millions of dollars to help ease suffering in Africa. A contemporary version of the song was also released last year to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
The ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’ recording will involve some of the biggest names in Arabic music, including: Majida El Roumi (Lebanon), Kathem Al Saher (Iraq), Mayada El Hannaoui (Syria), Hussein Al Jassmi (UAE), Saber El Rebai (Tunisia), Amr Diab (Egypt), Asma Lmnawar (Morocco) and many others. The line-up of artists is an unprecedented summit of Middle Eastern talent on a scale never seen before.
“I have long been a vocal proponent of music and the arts being a great asset in building bridges between people and cultures, and from my many experiences starting in 1953 touring the Middle East and North Africa with Lionel Hampton and again in 1956 as the musical director and trumpeter for Dizzy Gillespie’s first State Department Tour, I have witnessed that ability firsthand. “I believe that given a choice, people want to live in a world of peace and prosperity and it is my hope that this song will serve as a clarion call for the people of the Middle East and North Africa who share that desire for peace, hope, unity and a better tomorrow to come together to achieve that dream,” said Quincy Jones.
The song will be co-produced by Jones and ‘RedOne’ (a.k.a Nadir Khayat), a Grammy award-winning producer and songwriter who has worked with a plethora of talent including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Akon and Enrique Iglesias to name a few. Siedah Garrett, co-writer of Michael Jackson’s Man in The Mirror, is confirmed as Vocal Producer for the recording.
The Arabic version of the song ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’ is expected to be greeted with fascination in the Middle East. The iconic Majida El Roumi is writing the arabic lyrics, and the highly respected Kathem Al Saher is composing the Arabic adaptation, with both determined to express the song’s fundamental message of “a better tomorrow”.
“This song comes at such an important time for the Middle East and brings together the region’s leading talent to produce a song of inspiration and hope for all,” said Badr Jafar. “There is no better time in the region’s history than now for us to be producing a song of this magnitude, and we have the very best people in the industry behind it.”
“During the 10th Anniversary of the Festival in Rabat, Maroc Cultures is hosting a historic collaboration of the participating North African and Middle Eastern artists that will take part in Mawazine. They will all be recording the song “Bokra”, led by Mr. Quincy Jones. This will be an unprecedented summit of international talent. The creation underscores the major role played by Maroc Cultures being the associate producer of this initiative. It was only natural and the right choice that Maroc Cultures invited RedOne as the number one contemporary global producer today and a native Moroccan, and associated him in this musical creation.” commented Aziz Daki, Artistic Director of the Festival Mawazine.
The recording sessions will be filmed under the direction of Syrian-American producer Malek Akkad, best known for his popular Halloween film series and the acclaimed 2007 film Made in Brooklyn, and Jones’ son QD3, a highly respected producer in his own right.
Under the direction of Jones and Jafar, the project’s Executive Producers, this multi-national team will create a music video for the song and also begin a behind-the-scenes documentary that will trace the entire ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’ project, incorporating footage from various countries in the region where artists involved in the project will be performing.
The song ‘Tomorrow/Bokra’ aims to serve as a beacon of solidarity and hope for the region at a crucial time.