Trainers and speakers

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Trainer

Otto de Jong

Otto is a choir and orchestra conductor specialized in working with large groups of children. His music workshops, lessons and rehearsals demonstrate the power of nonverbal communication and team building.

Otto is a choir and orchestra conductor specialized in working with large groups of children. His music workshops, lessons and rehearsals demonstrate the power of nonverbal communication and team building.

Otto was instrumental in the development of MWB’s first projects in Bosnia and the Netherlands, helping to shape MWB’s methodology to respond to the needs of people in refugee camps and asylum seeker’s centers through music. Since 1999, he has led training with MWB in Palestine, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, El Salvador, Italy, and Northern Ireland. Otto is Musicians Without Borders' Head of Training Development.

Trainer

Fabienne van Eck

Fabienne is a project manager, music educator and trainer for Musicians Without Borders, with more than 15 years of experience delivering music activities to vulnerable children and families in the Middle East.

Fabienne is a project manager, music educator and trainer for Musicians Without Borders, with more than 15 years of experience delivering music activities to vulnerable children and families in the Middle East.

Fabienne obtained her BA in Cello Performance and an MA in Music Education. She has worked extensively with Palestinian communities in refugee camps, orphanages and schools, and has trained numerous social workers and teachers in how to use music as a tool in their support work for children and families. Fabienne has drawn on her experience in Palestine to train musicians and community workers for Musicians Without Borders in Jordan, Greece, Italy, Rwanda, Uganda and the Netherlands.

Speaker

Oene van Geel

Composer and viola player Oene van Geel is a musical adventurer. Influenced by jazz, Indian music, chamber music and free improvisation, he uses his virtuoso improvisation skills and talent for composition for a wide range of musical activities.

Composer and viola player Oene van Geel is a musical adventurer. Influenced by jazz, Indian music, chamber music and free improvisation, he uses his virtuoso improvisation skills and talent for composition for a wide range of musical activities.

Oene has toured Europe, the Middle East, India, Japan, the US and Canada, and has received many prizes and awards for his work. Since 2018, he has devoted much of his musical talent and energy to raising awareness for the climate crisis and for the issue of forced migration, making new connections and collaborating with refugee artists to create new work. He has also contributed to Alarm Europe, a musicians’ initiative to protest European restrictive border policies and call for a humane approach for people in need of refuge.

In his own words: "I love art. It gives us a second reality full of imagination, it makes us reflect upon society and it brings us new, and sometimes, confronting / challenging ideas. And it helps us to connect to each other and ourselves. With arts in our societies and with the public or perceiver experiencing it, it can give us a common feeling of belonging to this world."

Trainer

Manu van Kersbergen

Manu is a spoken word and rap artist, creative writing teacher, workshop leader and presenter.

Manu is a spoken word and rap artist, creative writing teacher, workshop leader and presenter. He first joined Musicians Without Borders’ program in Palestine to work with local rappers and he has since led workshops with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Italy. He has also worked with Musicians Without Borders' Welcome Notes program as a guest trainer.
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Trainer

Amanda Koser-Gillespie

Amanda is a music educator, ethnomusicologist, professional instrumentalist and trainer. She is the founder and director of Second Line NI, a community jazz education and performance charity creating new models of shared music in shared spaces throughout Northern Ireland.

Amanda is a music educator, ethnomusicologist, professional instrumentalist and trainer. She is the founder and director of Second Line NI, a community jazz education and performance charity creating new models of shared music in shared spaces throughout Northern Ireland.

In 2015, Amanda joined Musicians Without Borders as an assistant trainer in the Music Bridge project in Northern Ireland. She currently manages and runs Music Bridge's activities together with local organization Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin. She works for Musicians Without Borders as a trainer, leading training in El Salvador, Italy, and Bosnia, and as the Head of Curriculum Development.

Speaker

Laura Hassler

Laura Hassler is founder and director of Musicians Without Borders. Born and raised in New York, she was active in US civil rights and peace movements. She studied cultural anthropology and music, then worked for social change organizations in the US and Europe.

Laura Hassler is founder and director of Musicians Without Borders. Born and raised in New York, she was active in US civil rights and peace movements. She studied cultural anthropology and music, then worked for social change organizations in the US and Europe.

After moving to the Netherlands in 1977, she built a career in music. In 1999, Laura mobilized a large network of socially conscious musicians to found Musicians Without Borders. Today, still drawing on this ever-broadening network, Musicians Without Borders has become a global leader in using the power of music to bridge divides, build community and heal the wounds of war.

Speaker

Eduard Nazarski

Eduard Nazarski has a life long experience in Civil Society organizations. In 2020 he retired after having been director of the Dutch branch of Amnesty International for 14 years.

Eduard Nazarski has a life long experience in Civil Society organizations. In 2020 he retired after having been director of the Dutch branch of Amnesty International for 14 years. Before that he served as director of the Dutch Council of Refugees.

Since June 2020 he participates in Alarm Europa, an initiative that draws attention to the situation of migrants at the borders of Europe. Alarm Europa makes an appeal to City mayors to speak out to the national government in order to receive more refugees. Musicians performing Pablo Casals’ Song of the Birds contribute to this appeal.

Speaker

Tareq Jundi

Tareq is a Jordanian composer and oud virtuoso, born in Amman. He completed his BA in Music Performance (oud and cello) at the National Music Conservatory in Amman and his MA in Music Education at the University of Jordan.

Tareq is a Jordanian composer and oud virtuoso, born in Amman. He completed his BA in Music Performance (oud and cello) at the National Music Conservatory in Amman and his MA in Music Education at the University of Jordan.

He has won several international prizes for his oud playing, and was honored by the Jordanian Ministry of Culture in 2016 as a Jordanian contemporary musician. Tareq is involved in a diverse range of community music programs serving marginalized children in Jordan, including the music teacher training program for Madrasati and the orchestra and music instrument group teaching program for Caritas Jordan. He currently serves as an assistant trainer in Musicians Without Borders project Al-Musiqa Tjam’ana (Music Brings Us Together) in partnership with Caritas.

Trainer

Darren Abrahams

Darren Abrahams is a singer, coach, trauma therapist and trainer working internationally as a facilitator and project leader in the fields of personal, cultural and community development.

Darren Abrahams is a singer, coach, trauma therapist and trainer working internationally as a facilitator and project leader in the fields of personal, cultural and community development.

Darren is co-founder of The Human Hive a CIC working with individuals and organisations to make a more welcoming and inclusive world. He is on the steering team and head of pastoral care for The Complete Freedom of Truth, an international youth-led project developing global youth citizenship through culture and the arts and is a trainer and Wellbeing Adviser for Musicians Without Borders where he trains musicians to use music for peacebuilding.

As a singer Darren performed internationally for companies such as The Young Vic, English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Wexford Opera. In 2021 he will be singing the title role in Nigel Osborne’s opera Naciketa at the London South Bank and co-creating new opera BEAM with soprano and empowerment coach Nadine Benjamin.

Darren is an expert at making people feel safe while bringing communities together to heal.

Trainer

Guus van der Steen