Front-woman, lead singer, and anthropologist Galeet Dardashti follows a family tradition of distinguished musicianship dating back to 19th-century Persia.   But it was down in Austin, Texas, where Divahn’s bold all-woman Mizrahi/Sephardi ensemble began dazzling audiences with its Middle Eastern grooves.  Today, the NYC-based group has engendered an international following, infusing traditional and original Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies, entrancing improvisations, and funky arrangements.  The group’s thrilling live shows include instruments such as tabla, cello, violin, didgeridoo, doumbek, and vocals spanning Hebrew, Judeo-Spanish, Persian, Arabic, and Aramaic. As one of the few groups performing Mizrahi and Judeo-Arab music in the US, Divahn shares with its audiences a beautiful sphere of Jewish and Muslim culture that many have never experienced in person. “Divahn,” a common word in Hebrew, Persian, and Arabic, means a collection of songs or poetry. Through their music, the group creatively underscores common ground between diverse Middle Eastern cultures and religions. www.divahn.com

* this artist is featured on the official Sephardic Music Festival Compilation Vol. 1, click here to get your copy!