Who would have thought I had to come all the way from Alaska to hear Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh play in the Netherlands. Yesterday, at music theater Musis in Arnhem, Azmeh joined forces with trumpetist Eric Vloeimans and pianist Jeroen van Vliet. They call themselves Levanter, referring to a strong easterly wind in the Mediterranean region, and they take you on a magic carpet journey of enchanting sounds, influenced by jazz, classical and world-music. Just like Silkroad (Yo Yo Ma’s initiative of which Azmeh is an active member), Levanter creates music that engages difference, sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning to build a more hopeful world. In a world where borders are closing, Levanter gives me hope that cultural exchanges will continue. Until March 18, 2018, Levanter tours the Netherlands. If you get a chance don’t miss out on hearing these wonderful musicians.