25 August 2010

Music: Galeet Dardashti's "The Naming"

Family history takes many forms. An artist may use images of his ancestors or where they lived on canvas, while a musician takes the stories and culture of her family and brings them to life in a different way.

For our talented cousin, singer/composer Galeet Dardashti, the stories of the women in her songs intertwine with her family’s tales of women breaking rules.

When we met for lunch recently in New York, she said her new CD - The Naming - would be launched September 14 in New York City. I wish I could be there or at her other upcoming concerts in Toronto, Philadelphia and La Jolla, California (see below).

Those who connect with Persian and Middle Eastern music will appreciate Galeet's performances. She has truly inherited the talents of her grandfather, Yona - renowned for his classical Persian singing and known simply as Dardashti - whose recordings are still revered by Persians of all religions in today's diaspora, and of her father, Hazzan Farid Dardashti.

Yona rarely sang at family events in Teheran, yet he did so at our housewarming there so very long ago. We were very honored.

For clips from the new CD, click here. Don't miss the one titled "Michal."

Read the Huffington Post review and watch this video.

From Galeet's website:

This is the story of why the brilliant Queen of Sheba shaved her legs, how the stunning Vashti laid down the line for her drunken husband, and how a mysterious witch spoke King Saul’s doom and then served him a nice dinner.

Dardashti's forthcoming solo release and multimedia performance, The Naming, draws on the Persian music deep in her bones to transform the ghostly outlines of Biblical women into full-blown flesh-and-blood personalities, combing emotional Middle Eastern-inflected musical delivery with powerful storytelling.

Dardashti unites the Persian classical music that made her grandfather an icon in Iran with her family's deep connection to Jewish poetry and song, creating electronica-edged Middle Eastern music that springs from where the midrash meets midwifery, where modal melody meets sleek modernity.

For Dardashti, the stories of the women in her songs intertwine with her own Iranian family’s tales of women breaking the rules as well as those of women in the Middle East today fighting to have their voices heard. The stories also echo through Dardashti’s personal story, in her recent transition into motherhood. Concerts feature vivid video art and live dance.
Upcoming appearances:

8-9pm, Sunday, September 5, 2010 - Toronto
Galeet Dardashti & Divahn
Ashkenaz Festival, Harbourfront Centre

7-9pm, Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - New York City
CD Release Party, Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street. Tickets

6-8.30pm, Sunday, October 17, 2010 - Philadelphia
CD Release Party, The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street

7pm, Saturday, October 30, 2010 - La Jolla, California
Galeet Dardashti & Divahn
Congregation Beth El, 8660 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, California

The project was supported by a grant from the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, a partnership of Avoda Arts, JDub Records, and the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and made possible with major funding from UJA-Federation of New York.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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