Gaida tomorrow at @LCAtrium, globalFEST @ SXSW recap.
The snow is indeed melted and it looks like Spring has arrived just on time. To celebrate the equinox and Syrian Mother’s Day, tomorrow night, Thursday, March 21 at 7:30, Syrian singer Gaida will perform a free concert in the David Rubenstein Atrium. Gaida is a wonderful vocalist with an amazing band – rooted in classical Arabic traditions, but also pulling in influences from flamenco, Brazilian jazz, and all over the Middle East. You may also recognize her and members of the band from their appearance in Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married.” http://atrium.lincolncenter.org/index.php/atrium-2013-gaida
“Gaida, is one of the most effusive and charming vocalists in the New York world music scene.” - Timeout New York
Along with her outstanding ensemble: oudist Zafer Tawi l, pianist George Dulin, bassist Jennifer Vincent, and percussionist Tony DeVivo, Gaida performs “entrancing” innovative interpretations of Syrian folk songs, originals, and freestyle improvisations over Arabic and Latin grooves.
For, Gaida, morning in Damascus meant melodies: waking to the sound of her father’s radio while he shaved, the predawn intertwining calls to prayer bursting from mosques across the world’s longest-inhabited city. Strains of Umm Kulthum and Fairouz rose from radios and stores as horses clopped and cars purred by. The age-old harmonized with the modern. These sounds shaped the gorgeous and thoughtful Syrian singer’s impeccable musical intuition and velvety yet crystalline voice, now channeled into the stunning live performances. With her voice as a common denominator, Gaida has found the soulful sweet spot where complex Levantine rhythms and rich melodies synch up with breezy hints of bossa nova and that certain swing found only in jazz. Gaida’s songs, refined over a decades-long journey, unite the elegance of Arabic poetry and the refined ornamentation of Middle Eastern vocals with the sophisticated urbanite sensibilities of her adopted home.
Gaida and her band were featured in Jonathan Demme’s 2008 drama “Rachel Getting Married.” They’ve recorded with Robyn Hitchcock, Gillian Welch and Alejandro Escovedo and performed in prestigious national venues like the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and many world music festivals.
Other upcoming events in the Atrium include the next Just Films screening featuring a conversation with Alexandra Pelosi (yes, that Pelosi’s daughter) prior to a screening of her latest documentary Fall To Grace (about Jim McGreevey), and in April, Meet the Artist Saturdays with Vlada Tomova, collaborations with the Season of Cambodia festival and a rare free appearance by the incredible Raul Midon, plus a guest appearance by Master Kong Nay.
We had a fantastic 2nd annual globalFEST showcase at SXSW, with tremendous performances by La Chiva Gantiva (who play in NY at nublu tonight – see them!), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Terakaft, Red Baraat (who you can see at Webster Hall next Friday night, 3/29), and A Tribe Called Red. The bands got great press coverage, so I wanted to share some highlights with you.
Keep checking our Facebook page for press updates at https://www.facebook.com/globalFEST
Here’s a sampling:
“SXSW: Terakraft and Red Baraat
03/16/2013 9:22 PM
By Dan Deluca
Let's keep this short and sweet: I've seen a lot of great music in Austin this week, but the most fun I've had so far was at this globalFEST showcase at the Speakeasy, at which I caught Malian trance blues band Terakraft and Brooklyn bhangra brass band Red Baraat back to back.
A couple of members of Terakraft, who are currently based in Algeria and whose name means 'caravan' in the native langauge Tamasheq, which they sing in, didn't make it to the U.S. due to visa issues. No matter: They got their bus driver Manny Flores to wear a beret backwards to approximate the traditional keffiyeh nomad garb, and the two masterful guitarists in the picture laid down a richly hypnotic Saharan drone groove, along the Ali Farka Toure-John Lee Hooker-Chuck Berry continuum, complete with fancy footwork referencing the latter's famous duckwalk. Mesmerizing.
Terakraft were followed by Red Baraat, the Sunny Jain led Brookyln consortium that I've been foolish to never see until now. The eight piece band Dhol n' Brass sound mashes together strains of Indian music with New Orleans brass sounds and makes productive use of hip-hop, but it's really entirely its own thing, a magnificently robust multi-cultural menage built entirely on brass and drums. (Though it's not entirely "organic": The dude who plays the tuba does some cool on-the-fly electronic manipulation of his sound, when he's not rapping, that is.) Sorry if everybody didn't make it into the picture. I was standing too close and the band is too big. A double bill to make me wonder why I spend so much time watching wan indie rock bands. “
There’s no better way to end South by Southwest than with a sweaty dance party. Brussels-based band La Chiva Gantiva gave the crowd … a cardio workout with their melting pot of rhythms.”
The Native American DJ crew kicked off their set with a mashup of powwow drums and chants and Kanye West’s “Stronger,” a move that subtly invoked the difficult history of the First Nation with a call to rise up. Then they threw down an amazing, no-holds-barred dance party with hip-hop, dub step and dancehall layered with traditional chanting and drums that gave the whole thing a primal edge.”
With triple-threat percussion and wall of sound brass, the eight-piece Bhangra/NOLA brass/go-go dance fusion outfit wrecked shop. God bless America, and God bless Brooklyn, N.Y., for being a hyper-diverse incubator for these kinds of cross-cultural collabs that exemplify the best of our melting pot culture.”
“The big names came to SXSW, but the smaller ones were the ones who really made it
A Tribe Called Red, a visionary trio of DJs from Ottawa, made the dance floor feel like the most ripe setting for discovery in Austin, stacking Native American pow-wow chants over bruising hip-hop beats and sternum-punching bass lines. There wasn’t anything else like it at SXSW. There probably isn’t anything else like it on Earth.”
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