Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 7:30pm
Target Free Thursdays
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Frieda and Roy Furman Stage
"Syrian songstress, 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 Tawil, 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.