We recently had the amazing opportunity to work with artists in our local area, known as the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) to build what has turned into a concert and compilation called Out of Our Shells. For several months in 2022, Dunia, Aram and master recording engineer Neil Perry (a former Hit Factory engineer who’s worked with Bowie and Prince) were able to travel around the area, with the assistance of a grant from American University’s Humanities Truck, and record musicians who had been shut away during and even before the pandemic closed us all off from anyone outside our immediate neighborhoods. The result is a beautifully diverse collection of skilled, wonderful people working in a huge variety of genres – from a Malian griot to an all-women’s cumbia percussion ensemble to a hardcore punk band – all of whom want to share a little joy with the world. The concert was hosted by Rhizome DC featuring 10 of our artists, with proceeds going to the Fresh Start Refugee Center. We were written up in the Washington Post and on NPR. The compilation of 14 tracks includes an original tune by us, called Hit & Run. You can listen to the compilation on outofourshells.com.