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Pharaoh’s Daughter to perform


Listen to a sample of Pharaoh's Daughter performing By Way of Haran from their CD, Queen's Dominion.




Pharaoh’s Daughter, a New York City-based group that specializes in music with a Mediterranean touch, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 in Packard Lab Auditorium.

The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the campus-wide project, “Diaspora: Re-imagining Cultural Space,” which will examine the phenomenon of diaspora from multiple and diverse perspectives.

The performance by Pharoah’s Daughter is sponsored by the Philip and Muriel Berman Center for Jewish Studies, the Humanities Center, and University Productions.

The Berman Center, in cooperation with the Lehigh University Art Galleries, planned and sponsored the Diaspora Project. One of the most critically debated aspects of contemporary identity, diaspora involves issues of displacement, migration, cultural space, ethnic and group identity, postcolonialism, and globalism.

A pivotal event of the Diaspora Project will be a conference on Sunday and Monday, March 25 and 26, titled “No Direction Home: Re-Imagining Jewish Geography.” The conference will explore far-reaching changes in how diaspora is defined, interpreted, and imagined in contemporary Jewish art, music, literature, and scholarship.

Throughout the semester, the Lehigh University Art Galleries will present several exhibits on this theme, including one by photographer Jason Francisco. There will also be gallery lectures, films, and performances by artists such as Pharaoh’s Daughter.

An artistic blend

The artists in Pharaoh’s Daughter blend psychedelic sensibility and pan-Mediterranean sensuality in their repertoire, which includes swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrahi and Sephardi folk-rock and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings, and electronica.

The group is led by singer-musician Basya Schechter, who is credited with cultivating the group’s global sound through her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece. She has studied ethnomusicology in the Mediterranean area and the U.S. with internationally renowned folk musicians and street performers, who shared songs from their own musical heritage with her.

Pharaoh’s Daughter has toured extensively through America and Europe, with performances in Central Park's Summer Stage series, at the Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park and at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Two CDs were released on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, and the group members are currently at work on their fifth album, which will be titled “Hagar.”

For more information, call the Berman Center at (610) 758-4869, or visit the Diaspora Project Web site.

Please note that tickets are not required for the concert, and there is no reserved seating.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007

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