Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Sountrack of Our Spirit

Galeet Dardashti

For many of us, Jewish sacred music evokes deeply personal and powerful memories of family, community, and often of those no longer with us. For this reason, many greet deviations from our own experience with Jewish sonic ritual with ire. Yet while some may be nostalgic for a specific music soundscape, Jewish musical practice—never static—constantly shifts in multiple directions, as all vibrant religious and cultural traditions do. The submissions in Soundtrack of the Spirit represent the vitality of many diverse realms of sacred Jewish creative musical expression today. — Galeet Dardashti

Vocalist and scholar, Dr. Galeet Dardashti, is the first woman to continue her family’s tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship and she has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative performers of Jewish music today. She received a Six Points Fellowship to pursue her multi-disciplinary project and 2010 nationally acclaimed release, The Naming, which interprets some of the compelling women of the Bible. Time Out New York called The Naming “urgent, heartfelt and hypnotic,” and The Huffington Post described it as “heart-stopping.” In her most recent commissioned multi-sensory piece, Monajat, Dardashti—accompanied by an acclaimed ensemble of Middle Eastern and jazz musicians—reinvents the reflective musical ritual of Selihot using digital technology to sing with recordings of her famed Iranian grandfather. She is also the leader of the renowned all-female power-house Mizrahi ensemble, Divahn and has significant cantorial experience. As a scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in anthropology, specializing in cultural politics and contemporary Middle Eastern/Arab music in Israel. She offers residencies, lectures, courses, and interactive workshops on her artistic and academic work throughout the US and abroad and is currently a Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Taub Center for Israel Studies.


Most Popular

In Case You Missed It


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.