02 December 2006

A dash of Dardashti news

The entire Dardashti clan -- there are a lot of us on the tree -- is proud of Galeet Dardashti and her performing group, Divahn.

As the family genealogist, I've decided to "kvell" (a Yiddish term meaning to rejoice delightedly) following the story on Galeet in the recent Jerusalem Report.

Galeet's grandfather, Yona Dardashti, was one of the most famous classical singers in Iran, and was known as "the nightingale." He performed publicly in Iran and after making aliya to Israel. I will always cherish those occasions when I heard him sing in person.

Today, when any Iranian of any backgrounds hears the name Dardashti, they automatically ask, "Are you related to ..." and the answer is yes.

Galeet's father Farid was the first hazzan in America of Iranian origin, and was already a performer of note in Tehran where he appeared on television as a teenager before moving to America for cantorial studies. He is the hazzan of Beth El in New Rochelle, NY. Two of his brothers are also hazzans.

If you have the chance to hear Divahn in your area, do go. It is a special group with a great sound. In the New York area, they will do a Chanukah performance on Monday, December 18, at the 2nd Sephardic Music Festival. For event and ticket details, click here.

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