BOSTON, May 15, 2012 – Grammy-nominated Boston-based musical ensemble DÜNYA will take the stage at the AIC Center on Newbury Street this Saturday, May, 19, to debut an original jazz composition commissioned by the American Islamic Congress (AIC). Entitled “Palindrome,” the composition incorporates elements of classical Turkish music in a jazz fusion style. The piece reflects the inner journey of many in the immigrant community who leave their identities behind and later find a way back to their roots, reconciling their past and present.

“Boston has many vibrant immigrant communities, some new and some long-established. Music, particularly Dunya’s fusion style, is a powerful way to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity and personal identities of Bostonians,” Koray Kotan, AIC Center director of operations said. “The composition will speak to anyone on the road of self-discovery, within the American Muslim community and beyond.”

The AIC Center commissioned the composition as a signature work of art to represent the organization’s dedication to exploring the diversity of the American Muslim identity. The Center provides a platform to artists, musicians and performers from various backgrounds. “Some may find the fusion of jazz and Muslim culture surprising, but this is the heart of AIC’s mission: introducing people to aspects of Muslim identity they have not experienced before,” said Kotan.

Palindrome is the creation of DÜNYA’s director Mehmet Ali Salnikol portraying his deeply personal journey of rediscovering connections to his cultural roots. Talented and recognized composer, multi-instrumentalist and ethnomusicologist, Sanlikol was born and raised in Turkey. He came to the United States in 1993 to study jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

“Palindrome is an ideal metaphor for the last two decades of my life, both personal and professional,” Sanlikol said. “As I entered United States, I willingly left my Turkish cultural identity behind and immersed myself in jazz. But I later found myself slowly ‘traveling’ back home; going back to my origins in a mosaic process of forging a more complete version of myself. I’m sure many immigrants go through a similar process.”

The event will take place May 19, 2012, at the AIC Center, 38 Newbury Street in Boston. A reception and audience discussion with Sanlikol starts at 7:00 p.m. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m.

The American Islamic Congress is a civil rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between all peoples.

DÜNYA is a musicians’ collective and an educational organization exploring a cosmopolitan view of the world through the lens of a wide range of Turkish traditions, alone and in conversation with the musics of the formerly Ottoman peoples—Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, mystics—as well as with western and other world traditions.