poster for Mycale concertMYCALE TO SING

The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to present Mycale on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 7:30pm.

Consisting of four dynamic singer-songwriters and recording artists -- Basya Schechter (Brooklyn), Ayelet Rose Gottlieb (Israel), Malika Zarra (Morocco) and Sophia Rei (Argentina) -- this female a cappella quartet performs a repertoire of Jewish art and liturgical songs. Singing lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic drawn from Rumi, Fernando Pessoa, Heraclitus, The Hebrew Bible and more, these expressive and passionate artists first came together in 2011 with a recording produced by John Zorn to interpret music from the Book of Angels. Beyond their work with Mycale, each of the four has many other solo and collaborative projects.

Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh’s Daughter, through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica.  Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece. Pharaoh’s Daughter has toured extensively through America, Eastern and Western Europe as well as Greece and the UK.

Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s sound draws on a wide range of musical approaches and has an improvisational approach infused with elaborate composition spiced up with Middle Eastern scales and adventurous texts. Born in Jerusalem, Israel, her family traces Sephardic roots in Jerusalem back to 1492. She composes and performs musical scores for theater groups such as the Bull Family Orchestra and StorahTelling. Her music was recently featured on Marcia Jean Kurtz’s play “Between Two Worlds” at the HB Playwriters Theater.

Sofía Rei Koutsovitis has toured Europe with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra; recorded, performed and collaborated with renowned musicians and groups such as Folklore Urbano, Alcatraz, Lionel Lueke, John Scofield, Russ Ferrante, Avantango, Samuel Torres and Geoffrey Keezer; and been featured with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall in Instant Opera.  An active vocalist, composer and arranger born in Buenos Aires, she has sung at renowned festivals all over the world such as Cite de la Musique (Paris, France), the Chicago World Music Festival (Chicago, IL), the International Jazz en Lima Festival (Peru), among others.

Moroccan singer/composer Malika Zarra is a much-in-demand headliner at concert halls and festivals the world over. She has crafted a repertoire that incorporates her native Berber, Gnawa and Shaâbi heritages with the intellectual elegance of French pop plus freewheeling jazz rhythms and techniques and has recorded and/or sat in with Makoto Ozone, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lonnie Plaxico, David Gilmore and many others. She has graced Carnegie Hal, and renowned festivals all over the world such as the London Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Festival du Monde Arabe and International Black Arts Festival in Dakar.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors and UAlbany faculty & staff and $10 for student.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

This concert kicks-off the October to April series sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies called “Wanderings: Jews on the Move.”  The events in the series feature varieties of Jewish culture and stories about migrating (or would-be migrating) Jews.  Other events include talks about Leon Trotsky, Jewish immigrants in international cinema and Soviet Jewry; a performance of a fusion of Jewish, African, and Spanish Caribbean music and the third annual Holocaust lecture featuring Prof. Marion A. Kaplan of New York University.   More information on the series can be found at