PIF Music Festival

Higher Ground Bluegrass Gospel

highergroundHigher Ground is a bluegrass gospel group from the Cincinnati area. They began singing as a group in 2006.

They are comprised of Taylor Smith, Jr, his son Scott Smith and wife Katie, his son David Smith and wife Bridge, Larry Walden and Leroy Lunsford.

Their goal is to spread the goodness of Jesus Christ through song and music.

Baoku Moses African Drumming

baokumosesBaoku Moses is a professionally trained African performing artist (a drummer/dancer) and an Afro-beat singer, songwriter, producer, band leader and a composer.

Baoku’s career span back over 18 years of professional training and performing both in Nigeria and the United States.

When you are listening to Baoku, be ready to take a little trip to Africa because every hit on the drum is an invitation to join a fun ride, full with storytelling, groovy rhythms and soulful performance filled with high positive energy.

At the end, just like good food, you want more!


 Sevika Kirtan

sevikakirtanRaised as a Catholic, with a former nun for a mother, Sevika (Kathleen) Radecki began the practice of devotion in the womb.

She spent several years as a singer songwriter, recording artist, and performer in coffee shops and saloons across the mid- west, Australia and Europe before she found her true passion of the practice of mantra and chanting, after she began practicing yoga in 1999.

Sevika acquired her first harmonium in New York City in 2010. Since then, she has been composing mantra chants, leading Kirtans regularly in Cincinnati, OH as well as touring the mid-west, with her top-notch band of musicians. A Note About “Kirtan:” Kirtan is the practice of call-and-response sacred chant. Thousand year old Sanskrit mantras are fused with modern music, and ancient flair, to form energetic vibrations that create peace, joy and love within the body, mind and spirit.


Shadi Toloui-Wallace

shadtolouiwallaceYoung Australian singer, song writer, Shadi Toloui-Wallace, has been performing to large and diverse audiences for over ten years, most recently in North America, where she relocated over a year ago, now residing in Vancouver, Canada.

Shadi has released two albums in collaboration with acclaimed producer and guitarist, Louie Shelton, titled ‘Leather Bound Book’ and most recently ‘Verdant Isle’. Both will be available for sale at the Portraits In Faith event.

Vocally trained in jazz, Shadi incorporates her eclectic taste and love of folk, to produce music, which is inspired by her belief in the Baha’i Faith.


Jewish Liturgy Composed by Bonia Shur Z’l

boniashurzlBonia Shur was born in Latvia in 1923 to a musically talented Jewish family. He escaped the Nazi invasion only to be drafted into the Russian Army. To survive the horrors of combat, Bonia used his creative ingenuity and directed music ensembles during the war. He served as a Russian officer after the war in occupied Germany and Austria. He then escaped to Poland to join the Jewish underground. In 1949 Shur emigrated to Israel on Kibbutz Netzer Sereni and studied under the esteemed composer Paul Ben Haim. Bonia Shur’s genius in composition brought him national acclaim on Israeli Radio.

In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles yielding compositions and arrangements for films including “The Russians are Coming” and a Television Academy Award for “Revolt in Mode’in.” and created music for over 30 choreographies for Fanchon Shur.

In 1974, Rabbi Fred Gottschalk appointed Bonia Director of Liturgical Arts at the Cincinnati campus of HUC-JIR. From 1974-2003, Shur became a major musical force in the Reform Jewish Movement of North America.


Maestra Singers Directed by Shari Lauter

sharilauterMaestra Singers, directed by Shari Lauter, M.Ed., is honored to present a 30-minute program of Bonia Shur’s music selected specifically for The Portraits In Faith launch. Shari is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of Cincinnati’s Humanistic Congregation, Beth Adam. Shari co-founded Cincinnati’s first world music group, Drums for Peace, in 1989 and was composer/ producer behind 80’s seminal minimal synth duo Perfect Jewish Couple.

She is twice recipient of a City of Cincinnati Arts Allocation Committee grant for Music Composition and Performance: “Sharing Waters: A Videosong Celebrating our Ohio River“ and “The Chakra Cycle” for SATB, crystal goblets, bass, djembe, pipe organ, tambourine, and piano. She composes music for film/TV and live performance in a range of styles from technopop to worldbeat jazz. Also a certified Ohio music educator, Shari has shared her Orff-Schulwerk based music ed approach with hundreds of children in the Greater Cincinnati area.


Lady Khadija – Sufi Muslim Spoken Word & Song

ladykhadijaElectrifying educator, authentic advocate, and precocious performance poet – using the arts, activism, and new media to inspire social change, ignite cross cultural dialog, and encourage community and spiritual development!

Speaking and performing professionally since 1999, Lady Khadija is an educator, poet, and advocate for women and children, connecting individuals from all walks of life.

She has presented workshops and performed across the country and over-seas along side artists such as Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets, Talib Kweli, and Harry Belafonte. She uses her many skills and talents to inform, inspire, encourage, and empower.


New Vision Gospel Choir – Reginald Johnson, Director

newvisionNew Vision, a community choir formed in May 1997 in the Greater Cincinnati area, is comprised of members from many religious backgrounds. New Vision’s mission is to encourage people through their presentation of music and Bible based lyrics under the inspiration of Jesus Christ.

Under the direction of Reginald Johnson, the choir’s Music Director, New Vision has become one of the Midwest’s most versatile and well-respected choirs. They have accompanied many gospel artists such as: Tramaine Hawkins, Dr. Charles Fold, Kirk Franklin, Byron Cage, and Dorinda Clark-Cole. New Vision has been featured in many secular arenas, having sung background vocals for Lebron James’ “KING JAMES” commercial ad campaign for NIKE, which was produced by music legend William “Bootsy” Collins.

New Vision has recorded two live projects; “Fire”, released in September 2005, and “Great Expectations” will be released in the Fall of 2013.