Galeet Dardashti to present “The Naming” at Ithaca College February 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Galeet Dardashti, the noted Iranian-Jewish American vocalist, cantor, and anthropologist, presents her new multimedia work “The Naming” on Sunday, February 27, 7:00 p.m., at the Emerson Suites, Egbert Hall, Ithaca College. The performance is free and open to the public. She will also be presenting two other events on Friday, February 25. At noon on Friday, she will be teaching a masterclass on Jewish music of the Middle East to Ithaca College students. At 6:00 p.m. on Friday evening, she will be leading a Sephardi-Mizrahi Shabbat service in the Chapel – this is also free and open to the public. (Sephardi Jews have their roots in the Iberian peninsula, while Mizrahi Jews come from North Africa and the Middle East).

In “The Naming” Galeet Dardashti draws on the Eastern music deep in her bones to transform the ghostly outlines of Biblical women into full-blown flesh-and-blood personalities. As a young girl living in Brooklyn, N.Y., Galeet Dardashti was fascinated by stories of her grandfather, a great Jewish cantor in Tehran whose voice drew Muslims to his synagogue. An educator as well as performer – she recently attained a Ph.D. in anthropology focused on Israel's Mizrahi and Arab music – hers is a voice that could easily raise the spirits of an audience. Dardashti has an operatic voice, which is gorgeously backed up by magnificent violin, dulcimer and darbuka exhibitions.

She unites the Persian classical music that made her grandfather a musical icon in Iran, with a deep connection to Jewish poetry and song, to create lush electronica-edged Middle Eastern compositions in Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, and Persian. Her songs tell the stories of why the Queen of Sheba shaved her legs, how Vashti laid down the line for her drunken husband, and how a mysterious witch spoke King Saul’s doom and then served him a nice dinner. For Dardashti, the stories of some of the women in her songs also intertwine with her own Iranian family’s tales of women breaking the rules as well as those of women in the Middle East today fighting to have their voices heard. “The Naming” combines emotional Middle Eastern-inflected musical delivery with vivid video atmospheres and the grace of modern dance.

Dardashti’s visit to Ithaca College is taking place thanks to the generosity of Steven Weiss '91

Galeet’s visit to Ithaca College is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program. For more information, please contact Rebecca Lesses, Jewish Studies coordinator, 307 Muller, 274-3556 or

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Kim Wojtanik in the H&S Dean’s Office at 274-3102 or We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

To learn more about Galeet and her music, see the following links:

her musical website:

article in Tablet on Galeet:

article in Zeek on Galeet:


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