Join Dr. Galeet Dardashti, prominent performer and cultural anthropologist, for this interactive program on Jewish piyyut (liturgical poetry and song) traditions from the Middle East and North Africa. Come hear, study, and learn several of these beautiful religious songs, and gain an understanding of their shifting cultural significance throughout Jewish history. The presentation will include material from Dr. Dardashti’s research on the Mizrahi piyyut movement in Israeli pop and rock music today.
Iranian-descended anthropologist and performer/composer Dr. Galeet Dardashti has earned a reputation as a trail-blazing performer, educator and advocate of Middle Eastern and North African Jewish culture. As a performer/composer, Dardashti is the first woman to continue her family’s tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship. She is widely known as leader/founder of the all-woman Middle Eastern Jewish ensemble Divahn (which released its newest album, Shalhevet, in 2020) and through her multi-disciplinary commissions The Naming and Monajat. In The Naming, Dardashti interprets some of the compelling women of the Bible. Time Out New York called The Naming “urgent, heartfelt and hypnotic,” and The Huffington Post described it as “heart-stopping.” In her multi-sensory piece, Monajat, Dardashti—accompanied by an acclaimed ensemble of Middle Eastern and jazz musicians—reinvents the reflective musical ritual of Selihot using digital technology to sing with recordings of her famed Iranian grandfather. Dardashti is currently working on recording Monajat as the Artist-in-Virtual-Residence at Indiana University’s Jewish Studies program. She is also Musician-in-Residence at JCP Downtown in Manhattan, NY.
As a scholar, Dardashti’s publications examine Israeli music/media and Mizrahi cultural politics; she is currently writing a book on the Mizrahi piyyut (sacred song) phenomenon in Israel. Dardashti has held postdoctoral fellowships at NYU and Rutgers and most recently was Assistant Professor of Jewish Music/Musician in Residence at the Jewish Theological Seminary. As Affiliated Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Katz Center in 2020/21 she began research on young North American Jews of Middle Eastern and North African background. Dardashti offers lectures, workshops, and residencies on her artistic and academic work throughout the world.
The Program in Jewish Studies and College of Music are pleased to offer three online concerts this fall exploring klezmer music, Yiddish song, and Middle Eastern/North African Jewish poetic songs (piyyutim). The concerts will be in a webinar format, blending performance and discussion. The first two will be in the morning, 9:10-10:00am on Monday September 20 and Monday November 15. The last one will be in the evening, 7:00-8:30pm on Thursday December 2. This concert series is made possible by funding from the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Roser Visiting Artist Program in the College of Music, and the David Shneer Fund for Community Programming, Public Scholarship, and the Arts.
Thursday, December 2 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Please register here.