Middle Eastern Sacred Song (Piyutim): From Pulpit to Pop Chart

Saturday, September 17, 2011
Rothko Chapel

Presented in collaboration with the Jewish Community Center, this presentation by Iranian-descended vocalist and anthropologist Galeet Dardashti is part of Museum District Day, an annual event that features special activities at museums throughout Houston’s Museum District.

Galeet Dardashti will offer an interactive presentation on Mizrahi (Jews of the Middle East and North Africa) piyut traditions. The audience will hear and learn a few of these beautiful songs while gaining an understanding of their shifting historical and cultural significance from ancient Israel to the Middle Ages, and their new relevance today as some of Israel’s most noted secular rock singers have recorded their own renditions. This program has music accompaniment, is learning-based, meditative, and has no admission charge.

Galeet Dardashti began performing in the United States and Canada as a child as a member of The Dardashti Family, and now pursues her own independent musical pursuits. She is the granddaughter of Yona Dardashdi, the most renowned singer of Persian classical music in Iran in his day, and is the daughter of the highly esteemed cantor Farid Dardashti. She also pursues her passion for Jewish music and culture as an anthropologist, having recently completed her Ph.D. in anthropology on the performance of contemporary Mizrahi and Arab music in Israel.

The Foundation for Jewish Culture and its presenters have selected Galeet Dardashti’s program as the premier commission of a six-city tour, of which the Jewish Community Center of Houston was chosen. This initiative is through the New Jewish Culture Network to bring music and other art forms to various cities throughout the U.S.

The mission of the Rothko Chapel is to inspire people to action through art and contemplation, to nurture reverence for the highest aspirations of humanity, and to provide a forum to explore matters of worldwide concern.

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