Gig Review:
DAPHNA SADEH AND THE VOYAGERS
At Leo Baeck College, Finchley, London, Thursday 3rd July 2003, 8pm
Photo of Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers
Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers
L to R: Tigran Aleksanyan, Koby Israelite, Daphna Sadeh
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Photo of Daphna Sadeh
Daphna Sadeh

Daphna Sadeh And The Voyagers

At Leo Baeck College, Finchley, London
2003/07/03 Thursday, 8pm

Feat.
Daphna Sadeh - Music Director, Double Bass, Electric (upright) Bass
Tigran Aleksanyan - Duduk (Armenian double reed instrument), Armenian flutes, clarinet
Koby Israelite - Accordion, Dumbeq



Date of Review: 2003/07/04





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Photo of Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers
Tigran Aleksanyan, Koby Israelite, Daphna Sadeh


London was in for a rather special treat on Thursday, 3rd July, even though most of its denizens were completely unaware of it. A recital by Daphna Sadeh And The Voyagers, at Leo Baeck College in East End Road, Finchley, North London. The setting could hardly have been better. The small college shul (synagogue) facilitated great intimacy between audience and performers and a wonderful, warm atmosphere prevailed. While not filling the venue to capacity, the audience proved delightfully receptive and enthusiastic.

Daphna Sadeh of course will be familiar to many through her recent album, Out of Border, as well as her performances and recordings with one of Israel's foremost world music ensembles, The East West Ensemble, and also as the co-founder/leader of the (ongoing) all female Eve's Women. Guesting as Voyagers for last night's performance were well-known multi-instrumentalist Koby Israelite on accordion and dumbeq, and Armenian duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan on duduk (an Armenian double reed instrument vaguely related to the zurna or shawm but with a timbre somewhere between that of the clarinet's chalumeau register and a bassoon), Armenian flutes and clarinet. Daphna Sadeh alternated between acoustic and electric double bass.

The programme consisted of a number of original compositions by Daphna Sadeh, including some from the Out of Border album, a Koby Israelite composition, and traditional Jewish material including a spirited as well as spiritual instrumental rendition of the Ladino classic, La Rosa Enflorese (associated also with the Sabbath eve). All in all, an enchanting and well balanced blend of Ms. Sadeh's brand of strongly Middle-Eastern flavoured world fusion, traditional Sephardi and Israeli based music, and a touch of Koby Israelite's unique rock based, genre-imploding world fusion. The ensemble radiated an air of great familiarity and empathy with wonderfully tight playing, and although these musicians had not previously performed together in public, the familiarity and intimacy of long-standing friendships not only bridged this most successfully but gave the performance something of an edge of freshness. These performers just gelled beautifully, and the result was magical and refreshing. The audience clearly agreed, for the end of each piece was greeted with rapturous, even thunderous applause that might have come out of a much larger auditorium. This kind of receptiveness to what is essentially heavily Sephardi, Mizrakhi and other Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean based music was all the more remarkable for the circumstance of the setting being a Reform shul and the audience largely composed of Western Ashkenazim, giving one some cause for hope that we can yet all share in appreciating and perpetuating all Jewish culture, regardless of which tradition it may represent. In fact, so enthusiastic was this audience that it insisted, and of course received, a couple of encores. After an energetic performance in which these brilliant musicians really gave their all for just shy of an uninterrupted two hours, nobody could have begrudged the ensemble some rest, but all the same it was as if nobody wanted this enchanting, magical evening to end.


Photo of Koby Israelite
Koby Israelite

Photo of Tigran Aleksanyan & Koby Israelite
Tigran Aleksanyan, Koby Israelite

Photo of Daphna Sadeh
Daphna Sadeh
Photo of Daphna Sadeh & The Voyagers
Tigran Aleksanyan, Koby Israelite, Daphna Sadeh

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Daphna Sadeh - supreme!

The recital, then, was a resounding success. Daphna Sadeh is a highly charismatic performer, whose high-energy and enthusiasm seem to know no bounds and which, combined with her outstanding musicianship, sensitivity and charm, would have won any audience's hearts. Ms. Sadeh's compositions and arrangements are equally outstanding and often possessed of a haunting beauty. Her performance was more than ably supported by the incredibly versatile Koby Israelite, whose own recently released album Dance of the Idiots (on Tzadik) will be familiar to regular visitors to this site and who excelled on accordion and dumbeq, as well as by Tigran Aleksanyan and his wonderful duduk in particular. It is to be hoped that we'll see many more live performances by Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers in the UK.

 

© 2003 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Photo of Koby Israelite, Daphna Sadeh

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