The Treasure Tour is a song, music video, and concert series inspired by the Bicentenary (200 year anniversary) of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith. The song and music video share the path of six Baha’is in finding and embracing Baha’u’llah as the Divine Messenger for today. The tour aims to celebrate Baha’u’llah’s life, message, and Cause of oneness, peace, unity, and justice.
This past weekend marked the Treasure Crew’s third trip on the #TreasureTour2017 experience! For this pair of performances, Jose Maria, Bill, and myself took a road trip to Southern California, stopping in San Diego and San Clemente!
We had the pleasure of being accompanied by my pops, Richard, aka Papa J, as he graciously offered to drive the crew for this trip (shout out to my dad!). He expressed a desire to help us out and he also has a few brothers and sisters who live out in Southern California.
We headed out for San Diego late Saturday morning and enjoyed a pleasant five hour drive filled with lots of good discussion, from parenting, to personal struggles, and of course, music. We arrived in San Diego, and decided to take a quick stop by the beach before our performance. My dad went to college for a few semesters at the University of California San Diego, so he was reminiscing quite a bit about his old stomping grounds.
We then headed to the San Diego Baha’i Center for our Saturday evening performance. It was the evening of the Baha’i 19-Day Feast (a gathering held every 19 days for Baha’is to gather with their local community to pray, consult, and socialize), and the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of San Diego had invited us to come perform our music during the social portion of the Feast.
It was inspiring to hear the consultations of the San Diego Baha’i Community regarding the upcoming Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah celebration on October 21st. They had several celebrations planned throughout the community, as well as a multitude of complimentary activities before and after the event to add to the momentum.
After the consultative portion of the Feast program, the Local Spiritual Assembly secretary invited us to the front of the hall to perform a few songs and then screen our music video. It was met with a lot of enthusiasm, particularly from the youth of the community! We then were invited by a few youth to go out for dinner (I had Hawaiian-style poke for the first time). After dinner, we departed an hour north for San Clemente!
We spent the evening at my aunt and uncle’s home (shout out to Badi and Farzaneh for the hospitality!) Sunday morning we woke up early for our next performance, which was to take place during the monthly Soul Food arts devotional program at the San Clemente Baha’i Center.
The theme of the devotional was “Syllables and Sounds”. It began with a beautiful selection of readings and stories related to speech, thought, the Word of God, and language arts, read by a pair of lovely readers, including my Aunt Lollie :). One of the quotes of Baha’u’llah we drew from as inspiration for the Treasure song was the first to be recited during the program:
“Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.”
As the quote was being recited, Jose Maria, Bill, and I all turned and looked to each other in astonishment, taking it as a sign from Baha’u’llah that we were being confirmed in our efforts. We felt confident Baha’u’llah was with us. After the readings, the Treasure Crew was invited up to share our stuff!
We began by giving a bit of background on hip hop, the art form of rap, and how we strive to apply Baha’u’llah’s revelation to this craft. We then delivered a brief set of songs, including Change the World, Light of Unity, Ego Tripping, Youth Can Move the World, and of course the feature track of the tour – Treasure. The audience seemed to be quite moved by our selection of tracks. It helped that there were several Jeffers family members in the audience to pump up the crowd! (Shout out to Aunt Lollie and Jill, Uncle Badi and Judd, cousin Justin, and daddo!) We finished things off with a screening of the Treasure music video.
After the program, we were rushed by a line of beaming souls showering us with encouragement and compliments! We quickly sold out of CD’s and merchandise, and were humbled at how supportive this group was. It was a super uplifting way finish the California tour!
We then grabbed some delicious seafood with my aunt Lollie at the San Clemente Pier while enjoying a few more stories from my dad about his time in Southern California as a youth. After lunch, Jose Maria, Bill, my dad, and I hit the road back to Phoenix and took the time to continue deepening our bonds of friendship in the car – one of my favorite parts of the touring experience!
We’ll be wrapping up the tour this upcoming weekend in our hometown of the Valley of the Sun! The Treasure Crew will be hitting up several of the local Birth of Baha’u’llah celebrations, hoping to use our music to bring joy and positivity to the various spaces. Allah’u’Abha! 🙂
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