The multi-faceted and uniquely talented Zeb Bangash known for combining old world musical traditions and values with the contemporary has teamed up with Brooklyn-based clarinet virtuoso, Michael Winograd, for a new venture! They have co-founded SANDARAA, a band that is creating magical sounds from a fusion of Eastern Europe, the Indus Valley Civilization and the mystical traditions of Central Asia.
A retinue of leading Brooklyn musicians have joined Zeb Bangash and Michael including Istanbul born Eylem Basaldi (violin) Yoshi Fruchter (guitars and oud) David Lizmi (bass) and Richie Barshay (drums and percussion).
The band is set to release their first self-titled CD in the United States. Sandaraa, is a Pashto word meaning song. It is a 5-track EP and takes inspiration from legendary artists such as Sabzal Saami, Beltoon and Haji Saifudin. SANDARAA infuses its own personal style and vocabulary to expand upon the music. Their songs create a magical world of global sounds that are captivating. Each band member adds his or her own musical history to the mix coming up with a signature sound that is fresh yet has an eerie resonance.
Zeb Bangash is in Brooklyn rehearsing for the CD release US tour, which starts on May 8th 2016. Audiences in Hamden, Northampton, Cambridge, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. will get a chance to see the band perform live.
The singer while sharing her excitement said that the new album gave her a chance to push her own boundaries as a singer and a performer. “The Balochi repertoire was especially challenging and the most rewarding for me. I have learnt so much just by engaging with these traditions. It was insightful to observe closely how these great musicians listen to new sound. Listening is crucial to creating.”
“As a band we’re steeped in Western technique and theory,” Winograd stated. “We have thought about the ideal show we’d like to present, about how folk songs can work when we play them as a group,” He added, “It’s not just the notes and music. The choices are cultural as well as musical in nature. We understand the concept that this isn’t a surface choice.
Zeb Bangash met Michael at a shared gig almost four years ago where they discovered this unheralded affinity between their traditions and decided to form a band. Through the support of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York SANDARAA has already been a recipient of the prestigious MAP Fund, Chamber Music America and Puffin Foundation.