Imagined hybrids from lost empires, the unexpected sounds of Sandaraa ("song" in Pashto) show how Eastern Europe the indus Civilization and Central Asia connect. The melismatic might of modal music and the ringing grit of mountain songs, the rollicking trance beats and restrained emotional intensity, have an eerie resonance, despite surface differences. A magical world of global sounds comes alive when superstar Pakistani vocalist Zeb Bangash joins forces with a retinue of leading Brooklyn musicians led by klezmer clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd to unlock the musical secrets and history of their regions steeped in ecstatic mysticism, war, migrations and ancient cities lost to the sands of time.
Michael and Zeb discovered this unheralded affinity between their traditions by chance at a shared gig, but have purposefully crafted the eureka-moment into an adventuresome project to explore trans-Eurasian sonic possibilities. Taking inspiration from legendary artists such as Sabzal Saami, Beltoon, Haji Saifudin and more, Sandaraa infuses their own personal styles and vocabulary to expand upon the music. Each band member adds his or her own musical history to the mix creating a signature sound that captivates audiences and fascinates listeners with their unique and inspired approach to musical and cultural synthesis. Through the support of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Sandaraa has received major grants from the prestigious MAP Fund, Chamber Music America, and Puffin Foundation.
Zeb and Michael are joined by a stellar group of Brooklyn musicians. Accordionist and keyboardist Patrick Farrell is known in Klezmer, European and new music circles for his virtuosic technique and sonically wide palate. Violinist Eylem Basaldi hails from Istanbul, and is a master of Turkish and Arabic styles. Guitarist and Oudist Yoshi Fruchter is equally comfortable in Jewish music and Heavy Metal settings. The band’s newest Brooklyn resident, David Lizmi (George Ezra, Ms Mr, Moroccan Band Innov Gnawa) brings his creative and versatile bass patterns. Known for his work with Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding and more, drummer and percussionist Richie Barshay, with a keen ear for musical aesthetics and diversity, holds down the groove in SANDARAA.