Divahn | Divahn

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Divahn - official website Galeet Dardashti (Divahn leader) official website Apple iTunes Emusic Audio Lunchbox Tradebit GreatIndieMusic Nexhit PayPlay PassAlong Bitmunk BuyMusic QtrNote MusicIsHere

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United States - NY - New York City

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World: Middle East Contemporary Spiritual: Hebrew Moods: Spiritual
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Divahn

by Divahn

Think Jewish music = Klezmer? Then you need to hear Divahn's Middle-Eastern/Sephardic groove. The all-female quartet infuses traditional songs with creative sophistication, using tabla, cello, rabel & other acoustics. Lyrics in Hebrew & Judeo-Spanish.
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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1. Shabekhi Yerushalayim
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4:08 $0.99
2. Dror Yikra
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4:55 $0.99
3. Yigdal
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3:28 $0.99
4. Ya Ribon Alam
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3:37 $0.99
5. Duerme
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3:30 $0.99
6. Va'amartem Zevakh Pesakh
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3:09 $0.99
7. Yodukha Rayonai
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5:33 $0.99
8. Cuando el Rey Nimrod
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4:03 $0.99
9. Scalerica de Oro
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3:22 $0.99
10. Shekharkhoret
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5:34 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Anyone who thinks Jewish music equals klezmer needs to hear Divahn's Middle Eastern and Sephardic grooves. Divahn infuses traditional songs with sophisticated harmonies and arrangements using tabla, cello, rabel, doumbek, banjo and other acoustic instruments, plus vocals in Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic, Aramaic and Turkish. Their beautiful lyricism flows through an intense rhythmic drive. The group distinguishes itself as the only all-female ensemble performing Mizrakhi-influenced music (Jewish music from the Middle East and North Africa) in the US, and has performed with some of the world's most renowned master musicians, including Glen Velez and Anindo Chatterjee.

Divahn, a word common to Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, means a collection of songs or poetry. Through its music, Divahn seeks to underscore common ground shared between diverse Middle Eastern cultures and religions. The group captures the breadth and diversity of Mizrakhi and Sephardi music throughout the centuries, while simultaneously creating and redefining innovative directions for the music in the present.

"A stunning debut! ... Darting, stabbing rhythms, throaty, urgent vocals and intricate and intelligent arrangements, this is a flat-out thrilling record."
- The Jewish Week

"In combining the old and new, drawing from across the globe, and mixing their respective musical gifts, Divahn have not only a fine debut on their hands, but a new musical statement - one of craft, originality, and spirit."
- Austin Chronicle

"A work of deep, provocative, timeless beauty."
- Seth Rogovoy

"Traditional and wonderfully new at the same time... Highly recommended."
- Ari Davidow's Klezmer Shack

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1. Shabekhi Yerushalayim
words: Hebrew, Psalm 147
music: Avihu Medina (1948- )
Though the text of this piece has been around quite a while, the music was written only decades ago by Avihu Medina, one of Israel's most noted composers and performers.

2. Dror Yikra
words: Hebrew, Donash ben Labrat (920-990)
music: traditional Mizrakhi
This famous zmirah (Shabbat song) relishes the freedom experienced on Shabbat as we take a break from the week's toils.

3. Yigdal
words: Hebrew, Daniel ben Yehuda (14th century)
music: traditional Iranian
Galeet first heard the melody for this well-known religious hymn at the Iranian synagogue of her grandparents (Yona and Hoori Dardashti) in Rishon LeTzion, Israel.

4. Ya Ribon Alam
words: Aramaic, Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara (1555-1625)
music: traditional Iraqi
This is a favorite zmirah, sung at Shabbat dinner. We've thrown in some of our own Southern flair to complement this Iraqi melody.

5. Duerme
words: Ladino
An old Sephardic lullaby sung to a lover.

6. Va'amartem Zevakh Pesakh
words: Hebrew
music: Iraq
Many Iraqi Jews sing this traditional pizmon at the Passover seder; it praises God for rescuing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

7. Yodukha Rayonai
words: Hebrew, Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara
music: from the Turkish folk song Katibim (Üsküdar'a)
Katibim is a well-known, light-hearted Turkish folk song in which a woman describes her man. As is common practice in the Jewish diaspora, Turkish Jews liked the music so much that they chose it for a pizmon (religious poem).

8. Cuando el Rey Nimrod
words: Ladino
This song is also known as "Avraham Avinu" or "Abraham our Father" as it provides a rendition of the birth of Abraham, the Patriarch. Many Sephardim have traditionally sung this song at the male infant's brit milah, or circumcision ceremony.

9. Scalerica de Oro
words: Ladino
The unfortunate bride-to-be in this song has no money to offer as a dowry. Friends and family, therefore, offer the couple their prayers for prosperity, happiness and good fortune ("mazal bueno").

10. Shekharkhoret
words: Hebrew
This song was originally "Morenica" in Ladino. In both Hebrew and Ladino, the title means "dark woman." Although the chorus refers to the magnificent beauty of the "Shekharkhoret," the speaker herself states, "I used to be fair; the summer sun made me dark," suggesting an ambiguous attitude toward beauty. The song was traditionally sung at Mizrakhi weddings as the women danced around the bride.

All arrangements by Divahn:
Galeet Dardashti (lead vocals, guitar, doumbek)
Lauren DeAlbert (tabla, doumbek, riq, tar, castanets, zills, didgeridoo, didgeridoodle, vocals)
Michal Raizen (cello, vocals)
Emily Pinkerton (violin, rabel, banjo, vocals)

About the music:

Divahn's songs represent the breadth of Sephardic and Mizrakhi-influenced Jewish music throughout the centuries. While the terms Sephardic and Mizrakhi are often used synonymously, this is not always accurate. The Sephardic or "Spanish Jews" flourished in Spain for several centuries. They spoke Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish (a Hebrew-flavored dialect of Spanish), amongst themselves and, of course, composed songs in Ladino. Their music reflected the Spanish as well as the Moorish influences to which they were exposed. When the Sephardim were expelled from Spain in 1492, many of them settled throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, which is why Sephardic music and culture is so often linked to the Middle East.

Aside from the Sephardim, however, Jews have had a strong presence in the Middle East in the areas of countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria since the destruction of the first Temple in 586 BCE. Due to Islamic restrictions on music in many periods, Jews were the primary group permitted to serve as professional musicians. Throughout history, therefore, Mizrakhim (Middle Eastern and North African Jews) played an important role in perpetuating the musical traditions in their respective countries, influencing and being influenced by the cultures with which they resided for thousands of years.


Reviews


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marilyn lister


i first heard divahn on ny public radio,and i've enjoyed them ever since. thank you

daveed

My daughter eyes were opened
i bought this cd for my daughter. she was having a hard time embracing her sephardic roots. this cd opened her eyes to not only her heritage but sparked an intrest to new forms of music. toda rabah!

Daniel Laby

Great CD - a must have
A great CD - good beat, great music - almost put me back in Spain!

Chana Sheva

Great Sound!
I bought this CD after hearing about the group from my son. He heard the group at a college event. Wonderful CD. I look forward to hearing more music from this group!

Christy Bowen

Saw them live at Berea College...
I had the neat oportunity to work with Divahn.. i was part of the crew that set up the sound for the concert.. even tried to help tune the drums :) The concert was really really good so I bought the CD and I have no regrets! Very nice. If you like this, check out Ensemble Kaboul with Ustad Mahwash.

Eli

Absolutely Delightful Music!
My wife and I had no idea what a treat we were in for when we a went to a performance by these 4 talented ladies. I have been listening to this CD in my car ever since. Soon my daughter demanded her own copy and I have given a couple as gifts. My roots are from eastern Europe, but this music has given me a much broader appreciation of my Jewish heritage. I heartily recommend it.

Chanah

Great album!
What a great album! I love it! Looking forward with anticipation to future albums.

Lorill


The CD was a gift to Peter following him sharing with me that his family has Shepardic Jewish Ancestry. I did an internet search and found Divahn. I sent him the CD as a gift after listening to track 5 - A Shepardic lullaby sung to a lover which I dedicated to him. We both really enjoyed the entire CD. Great artistic talent and creativity in this gift of magical music!!!

Sara G. (Manhattan)

Sends chills up my spine. Beautiful!
I love this CD. There is something amazing... something otherworldly about the vivid vocals combined with that superb Indian percussion. It rocks my world!

Terry Kardos

Haunting, inspiring vocals and instrumental music
This group performs haunting, inspiring music, both in the vocals and instrumental music. It makes me want to throw on some gauzy fabric and dance swayingly while my mind is in a higher plane. I especially love to give this album as gift to women who are becoming Bat Mitzvah as adults.
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