Small World – Big Ears
Mon, Feb 25th: Pharos Ensemble & Dunham Shoe Factory
Mon, Mar 25th: Sawaari & Beth Bahia Cohen
Mon, Apr 22nd: Glas & Shirim
This program is supported in part by a grant from Cambridge Arts, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Pharos Ensemble is named after “φάρος” the Greek word meaning “lighthouse”. The ensemble shines light on the rich heritage of Greek traditional music. It consists of five highly acclaimed musicians and educators, who study their musical traditions in depth and present them in the United States and around the world. The ensemble’s goal, besides performing this music, is to reach, inspire and educate the youth about the values carried by Greek traditional music.
Dunham Shoe Factory
Dunham Shoe Factory is a collaboration between Anna Patton, Mac Ritchey, Todd Roach and Dave Haughey. They are a contemporary acoustic ensemble playing original compositions influenced by world traditions. Combining the clarinet, oud, percussion and cello, their music draws from an array of styles including Egyptian, Jazz, Brazilian, Turkish, Classical and Indian music.
Currently based in New England, individual members have performed in a variety of settings locally, nationally and internationally over the past 25 years. After coming together as Dunham Shoe Factory in 2016, the group has created a unique sound by weaving together the threads of common experience that exist between the players. Two of them hold masters degrees in music performance, two of them have studied traditional Arabic and Turkish music, two of them have performed with the Paul Winter Consort, and all of them have spent time improvising in a variety of settings.
Sawaari explores the nexus of Indian taals, Arabic maqams, and trance music from North Africa and Italy, fully encompassing the varied interests and backgrounds of its band members: Fabio Pirozzolo (vocals and percussion), Jussi Reijonen (oud), Mike Rivard (sintir and double bass), and Amit Kavthekar (tabla). Pirozzolo and Rivard – both founding members of the global music ensemble Grand Fatilla – joined forces with Reijonen and Kavthekar to continue pursuing their passion for combining world music from disparate cultures into a unified and cohesive sound. With an emphasis on rhythm, the music they create has a searching, exploratory quality that brings together the meditative with the energetic, taking the listener from sparse tranquility to complex syncopations in a moment. Meaning “to ride” in Hindu, Sawaari invites audiences to be transported into a world of rhythm and sound that knows no borders and no limitations.
Beth Bahia Cohen
The Art of the Bow – Bowed strings from all sides of the Mediterranean
Beth Bahia Cohen is a violinist of Syrian Jewish and Russian Jewish heritage. Inspired at a young age by the sounds she heard at family gatherings, she went on to study with master musicians from Hungary, Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. She plays the violin, viola, Greek lyras, Turkish bowed tanbur and kabak kemane, Norwegian hardingfele, and Egyptian rababa.
Glas plays the soulful roots music of Macedonia. Off-kilter rhythms, unexpected harmonies, and intricate ornaments come together in a tradition born in an older way of living, when life was lived close to the bone. Songs sprang up around the table and in the fields, with friends and family, at work and at play, and told stories of life lived in hardship. Working as an acoustic duo based in Brooklyn, Vedran Boshkovski and Corinna Snyder create an intimate setting for audiences to connect to vivacious, poignant music from another place and time.
Corinna Škėma Snyder, voice and percussion
Vedran Boškovski, gajda, kaval, and tambura
Shirim Klezmer Orchestra has taken its unique klezmer across North America and Europe. The band has played with the Philladelphia Pops Orchestra, has appeared on the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s “Deconstructing Harry,” played at Lincoln Center and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Shirim has collaborated with renowned artist/writer Maurice Sendak on “Pincus and the Pig” and public radio’s Ellen Kushner on “The Golden Dreydl.”
The members of Shirim all also perform in Naftule’s Dream , an avant jazz/klezmer band which has recorded three albums on John Zorn’s Tzadik /Radical Jewish Culture label. As Naftules Dream they have performed all over Europe including the Berlin, Germany Jazzfest, as well as the New York City Jazz Festival, the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in Washington, DC and the Ashkenaz Festival of New Yiddish Culture in Toronto among others.