Eliyahu Sills: Song of Qadim
Music from the Near East and northern India
Acclaimed in the San Francisco Bay Area for performances rendered with passion, authentic musicianship and spirituality, this ensemble consists of Eliyahu Sills, Rachel Valfer and Jason Ranjit Parmar.
Rachel Valfer plays oud, the Arabic lute, and performs vocals. She studied Maqam and Persian dastgah modal systems in Israel and Palestine for six years at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She sings in Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic and Farsi.
Jason Ranjit Parmar is a dedicated student of tabla master Swapan Chaudhuri and performs tablas with many well known kirtan leaders in the Bay Area. He is also adept on the drum kit as well as with Middle Eastern and African percussion.
Qadim is a word found both in Arabic and Hebrew meaning "ancient past" and "that which precedes" as well as "forward movement" and "that which will come." Our group is aptly named as the music bridges cultures as well as the bringing old traditions into the contemporary world.
The CD also features Faisal Zedan on riqq, Micha Patri on drums, Alan Bruggeman on frame drum, Chuck Wood on shakers and Brian Schachter on sitar.
Traverse the deserts of the Middle East, the mountains of northern India, and the warm waters of the Mediterranean with Eliyahu & Qadim.
A native of Boston, Eliyahu Sills has been studying and performing music for over 20 years.
In the early 1990s, he studied the upright bass at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Deeply influenced by teachers Makanda Ken McIntyre, Arnie Lawrence and Reggie Workman, the bassist who played with John Coltrain and Art Blakely, Eliyahu began performing as a sideman and bandleader in renowned jazz clubs such as The Village Gate and Small's.
In the years that followed, Eliyahu fell in love with the flute and applied the musical theory that he learned through his jazz studies to teach himself this most ancient of instruments. After falling under the spell of the Sufi music of Turkey, he became a devoted student of both the nay, the reed flute of the Middle East, and the bansuri, the bamboo flute of India. He has since continued to study and perform these magical instruments under the guidance of masters Steve Gorn and his teacher G.S. Sachdev, to whom he is a devoted student.
In April, Eliyahu returned from a 4-month pilgimage to Turkey in search of a local living master to take him in and teach him the nuances of the nay. During his journey, he fell in love with Istanbul and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study under masters Neyzen Omer Erdogdular and Neyzen Ahmet Kaya.
Eliyahu's mastery of musical styles spans the globe. He has performed and recorded vibrant sacred music of the Middle East with Za'atar, West African folk music with the Palm Wine Boys, soul roots reggae with the Original Intentions, acoustic soul with Sparlha Swa, and revolutionary Hip-hop with Rebels Advocate.
He loves performing for and teaching music to young people. He has taught at The Mosaic Project, an educational program that helps children from all backgrounds celebrate diversity as well as Omega Teen Camp, a place of self-exploration and self-expression where teenagers gain personal power and build self-confidence and self-esteem while developing deep and lasting friendships.